18 September 2012

Appeal funds strengthen Christchurch music, sports, arts and community meeting spaces

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust, with assistance from the UK Appeal Trust*, has granted $3 million of appeal funds to nine new projects during the past quarter, to help Christchurch communities to strengthen and recover.

The $3 million will fund:

  • $50,000 to help Beatbox establish a new central rehearsal space for local musicians. This funding is donated by the UK Appeal Trust*.
  • $50,000 to help Art Boxes start up a temporary mobile arts gallery and workshop space for artists. This funding is donated by the UK Appeal Trust*.
  • Up to $50,000 for costs of hosting The Concert ‘A Concerted Effort’ on Saturday 3 November 2012 at AMI Stadium in Addington, an initiative of the Volunteer Army Foundation (the Student Volunteer Army). Includes funding donated by the UK Appeal Trust*.
  • Up to $140,000 for Canterbury business recovery to help revitalise earthquake affected business precincts through community engagement, marketing and the support of community events. This funding will be distributed by Recover Canterbury, through the Canterbury Business Recovery Trust. Precincts that have been identified as being suitable for funding and which are currently working with Recover Canterbury include Sumner, Edgeware, Rangiora, Papanui, Merivale and Sydenham. Suburban business groups interested in this initiative can contact Recover Canterbury.
  • Up to $190,000 for swimming in Canterbury; $150,000 to upgrade the 25m pool and associated facilities at Jellie Park by installing electronic timing, adjusting the starting blocks and increasing the seating area for competitive swimming and school swimming sports; and $40,000 to fund 50% of the operating costs of the temporary ‘Pools in Schools’ for the next two seasons [donated by the UK Appeal Trust*].
  • Up to $260,000 towards new football facilities in the eastern suburbs. Due to the closure of Bexley Park, this funding will provide new goalposts, floodlights and temporary changing rooms at Linfield Park. This funding includes $110,000 donated by The Southern Trust.
  • Up to $410,600 to repair tennis courts across greater Christchurch. This funding is now available to help repair outdoor suburban tennis courts at Tennis Canterbury affiliated clubs, and North Beach Tennis Club for use this summer. This funding also provides for interim repairs at the Wilding Park indoor tennis facility so it can be used until permanent repairs are made or a replacement facility is built. This grant includes $100,000 donated by the UK Appeal Trust*, $100,000 donated by BNP Paribas and $100,000 donated by NZCT [New Zealand Community Trust].
  • Up to $900,000 to support four established, major social service providers with funding so they can quickly deliver more support to people experiencing hardship as a result of the earthquakes – including children, families, vulnerable adults and older people. The four providers are: Age Concern, Anglican City Mission, Methodist Mission and Presbyterian Support.
  • Up to $980,000 to provide up to four temporary community facilities in Christchurch. These facilities will provide meeting and light recreational spaces for community groups and clubs as identified by local communities.

In addition, Prime Minister John Key announced in June 2012 a $1.1 million Appeal Trust grant to repair Kaiapoi’s Aquatic Centre. This grant, together with funding from the Waimakariri District Council and insurance, will replace the roof and repair supporting structures at the Aquatic Centre. This grant is generously supported by $500,000 donated by the New Zealand Community Trust and $100,000 donated by the UK Appeal Trust*.

Without help from the Appeal Trust, and the specific wishes of its donors, it is unlikely that these projects would have received funding in the foreseeable future.

Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trustee Dr Rod Carr says: “Every community in Canterbury has been impacted by the earthquakes in some way and these grants will help strengthen specific services that together will keep the recovery progressing. The success of New Zealand swimmers such as Sophie Pascoe at the recent Paralympics in London for example, proves the worth of funding competitive training facilities at Jellie Park. And with summer just around the corner, many people will be looking forward to playing on repaired suburban tennis courts.”

“Looking ahead to the next quarter, Trustees will be reviewing the focus of the Appeal Trust to ensure it supports the longer-term earthquake recovery with almost half of all Appeal funds granted,” says Dr Carr.

The Appeal Trust will release its inaugural annual report at the end of October and will also announce the successful recipients of small grants from the Vodafone Foundation Canterbury Fund – a joint initiative between the Vodafone Foundation and the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust.

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust has to date committed funds of around $49.37 million to a range of projects including KiwiSport programmes in eastern suburbs, repairing facilities at parks and sports fields, financial advice to red zone residents, trauma counselling, a youth health centre, replacement sport and musical equipment, and the rebuild of the Arts Centre.

Media statement from Recovery Canterbury

*The United Kingdom Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust was set up following the 22 February 2011 earthquake by interested expat New Zealanders and the New Zealand High Commission in London, to allow UK donors to help Cantabrians rebuild their lives and their communities. Since its establishment, the UK Appeal has raised approximately $5 million dollars to assist Canterbury, both directly and through other charities. This funding has been used to support a variety of charitable projects in the Canterbury region, including community projects, sporting projects and educational projects. The UK Appeal Trust is an independent charity registered in England and Wales (1141365) and is governed and operated by independent Trustees.