Migrant centre welcomes $10,000 grant
The Marlborough Migrant Centre received one of the larger grants from the Canterbury Community Trust given out this week for social services, but it still has some way to go before it becomes financially secure.
Centre manager Margaret Western said yesterday that the $10,000 grant was extremely welcome. However, the centre still did not have enough funding to make up for the loss of government funding earlier this year.
Including the migrant centre, the Canterbury Community Trust announced grants totalling $122,857 to 13 Marlborough organisations yesterday.
Trust chief executive Louise Edwards said it was committed to supporting its four funding regions around the challenging provision of social services in today's economy, not just through donations but through advocacy and collaboration with constituents.
Its donations committee was impressed with the good work the Marlborough groups were doing to bring positive change in the lives of their clients, Ms Edwards said.
"We particularly applaud the ethos shown by most applicants. They are actively providing their clients with a ‘hand up' and not a ‘hand out'."
It was the practical applications of funding and the provision of new skills that brought about the most sustainable change, she said.
"We know only too well the stresses that the people of Marlborough are living through with the earthquakes, but feel confident that the social services sector of this region is well positioned to meet any challenges that may arise out of their current situation."
A trust spokeswoman said groups should get a letter today confirming how much each one had been allocated.
When the Marlborough Migrant Centre's government funding was cut it had to restructure, losing a staff member.
It also missed out on extra funding from the Marlborough District Council because councillors felt unable to fund social services after a government directive to concentrate on core services.
The centre gets an $10,000 operating grant from the council each year.
Mrs Western said the centre still had a shortfall in funding and needed community support to make that up.
Marlborough has become an increasingly diverse community in terms of the ethnicity of residents and is now home to thousands of migrants from 29 countries, many of whom work in the expanding horticulture and viticulture sectors.
The centre opened in 2007 as a direct result of the findings of a 2006 report that found a need to help migrants to settle and participate in the community.
Mrs Western said the centre's purpose was to promote unity in diversity and support successful resettlement.
"In order to do this, we have worked hard to establish networks with ethnic communities and service providers and relevant key agencies . . ."
Marlborough needed immigrants for its economy, Mrs Western said. In turn the centre provided effective engagement strategies, not provided elsewhere, for newcomers and the wider Marlborough community.
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