Grant given for remote groups

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 12:00 15/08/2014

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Tararua has won a $240,000 grant to help tackle the challenges faced by small, isolated and geographically scattered communities.

A collective of 13 community groups in the district is one of 12 recipients of community development scheme grants announced by Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Jo Goodhew this week as part of a $2.88 million package.

Their project aims to ensure people living in Tararua are aware of and can access well-resourced and connected community services.

Tararua REAP manager Peter Barton said the work would be a collaborative effort between groups including Rangitaane, schools, youth, government and non-government services. He said the first few months would be spent updating a 2006 stocktake of local community services that are available, and identifying the gaps.

Some key issues such as family violence, parenting skills, educational under-achievement and substance abuse had been recognised eight years ago, and had led to developments to tackle the problems.

Barton said members of the group already had some ideas about the issues facing families, but it was important that future work was based on strong research and evidence.

Efforts would also be made to ensure the voices of people living in small, isolated communities were heard before setting a priority list for work to be undertaken.

Barton said the project would need to ensure volunteers, who were often the backbone of small communities, were well-supported in the work they did, acknowledging that their numbers were dwindling.

The grant provides the collective with $80,000 a year for three years, and Barton said it was important whatever projects were set up could be sustainable after the money ran out.

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- Manawatu Standard

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