15 December 2011

Community recipients of first $1million announced today

A new BMX track in Kaiapoi and a youth development programme are among the first 48 recipients of the $4 million Vodafone Foundation Canterbury Fund, announced in Christchurch today.  The announcement list comes two months after launching the Canterbury Fund, a joint initiative between the Vodafone Foundation and the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust to help rebuild Christchurch communities, places and services.

The majority of the $1million released today by the Vodafone Foundation Canterbury Fund will be provided as smaller grants (between $5000 and $25000 each) for youth and community focused organisations.   All recipient organisations have planned projects and activities that range from rebuilding a sport facility to mentoring and counselling for young people. 

180 Degrees Trust is one of them. Their grant will fund a youth co-ordinator to support the Trust’s work running development programmes for troubled youth to help them reach their full potential. Pam Glover from 180 Degrees Trust says: “We couldn’t speak highly enough of the Vodafone Foundation Canterbury Fund, what they are doing is tremendous. Thanks to them we are going to be able to help so many more people, it’s just fantastic.”

Sharon Reddish, secretary of the Kaiapoi BMX Club is equally excited: “We are over the moon, this grant is going to fund the rebuild of our BMX track. In Kaiapoi all the sport facilities have been ruined by the earthquake and with this grant we will be the first to reopen - that’s awesome!” 

Vodafone Christchurch Recovery Director, Russell Hewitt says he is hugely proud of the work that has culminated in this announcement. 

“We believe that we have been able to meet our first objective of making an immediate difference to as many people as possible. These grants will have a positive effect on thousands of Cantabrians and we are delighted at the speed with which the process has moved.”

Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trustee, Dr Rod Carr agrees. "We are pleased to have approved funding for such a range of grassroot organisations working to make a positive difference in their communities following the earthquakes. The Trustees are confident the grants announced today will have a wide-reaching impact across Canterbury and our donors will be pleased to see their contribution making a difference for so many."

"By agreeing to match Vodafone's donations the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust has ensured the best use of funds from both organisations and we look forward to continuing our partnership on the Canterbury Fund."

The Vodafone Foundation Canterbury Fund received more than 290 applications since its launch on 11 October.

About the Fund

The Vodafone Foundation Canterbury Fund was established on 11 October as a joint initiative between the Vodafone Foundation and the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust. The fund offers grants to charitable and not-for-profit organisations, and provides wage subsidies for small and medium sized businesses looking to grow.

Vodafone Foundation donated $2 million to the fund ($1 million from the Vodafone Group Foundation and $1 million from Vodafone New Zealand) and this was matched by the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust, bringing the total balance of the Canterbury Fund to $4 million.  The fund will be released in $1 million programmes over the next few years.

See more about the selected projects here.