11 October 2011

New multi million dollar fund for Canterbury

Vodafone and the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust have today launched a $4 million fund to help rebuild Christchurch communities, places and services.

The Vodafone Foundation Canterbury Fund will offer grants to charitable and not-for-profit organisations, and provide wage subsidies for small and medium sized businesses looking to grow.

Vodafone has donated $2 million to the Earthquake Appeal ($1 million from the Vodafone Group Foundation and $1 million from Vodafone New Zealand) and this will be matched by the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust, bringing the total balance available in the Vodafone Foundation Canterbury Fund up to $4 million.

Vodafone CEO Russell Stanners says he is looking forward to seeing the difference the fund will make to Canterbury communities.

“Cantabrians have shown incredible strength and resilience and Vodafone is pleased to be on the ground, working alongside the community as it is rebuilt. Christchurch is a key centre for Vodafone, and I am delighted to be making a positive, long term difference to Christchurch communities. This initiative is a fantastic opportunity for businesses and community groups to apply for funding to help the development of Christchurch.”

Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trustee Dr Rod Carr says, “The Trustees are delighted with the support offered by Vodafone, and are pleased to be partnering with Vodafone to help get these funds to where they are really needed.”

The fund is split into two programmes: Small Grants and Business, which have a particular focus on youth-focused projects.

The Small Grants programme will focus on:

• Youth and Communities, where grants of between $5000 and $25,000 will be made available to distinct projects with clear outcomes that strengthen Christchurch communities

• Infrastructure, where funding will be directed to infrastructure projects in Christchurch, including education, sport, recreation heritage and culture.

The Business programme is focused on small-tomedium enterprises (SME) and through a partnership with the Canterbury Business Recovery Trust, will provide wage subsidy grants for businesses looking to take on a new employee, with a particular focus on youth. Grants of up to $10,000 will be made available for salaries to be part paid for six months.

Applications open on 12 October and can be made by visiting http://foundation.vodafone.co.nz/canterbury-fund