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Range of community organisations receive community funding

wellness riders 3

Wellness Riders at William Nelson skate park in Hastings

Thirty-five groups have received grants totalling $245,000 in this year’s Single Year Community grants funding round to support a variety of initiatives that benefit the community.

Each year Hastings District Council contributes funds to a diverse range of groups delivering community services or projects across the district.

Applicants can apply for up to $20,000, and this year more than half of the total funding pool went to programmes supporting the district’s young people.

Hastings councillor and civic and administration sub-committee chairperson Malcolm Dixon said that with the very worthy applications put forward allocating the grants each year was a challenge, and 2022 was no exception.

“Our focus this year was on those groups with projects that wanted to re-stimulate and put both energy and vitality back into their communities after two very difficult years. I believe we achieved that goal.”

One group to receive a grant this year ($15,000) was the Wellness Riders programme, a youth-oriented, free skateboarding school which started in Auckland and has been running at the William Nelson skate park for the past few months.

Chief wellness officer Sarinah Hurford said the programme focused on getting more girls aged five to 17 on boards for their mental and physical well-being, although boys were welcome to join too.

“We currently have around 30 kids who skate with us regularly and have 10 teenagers involved who help coach and inspire other tamariki to feel happier and healthier through increased self-confidence, physical activity, less time on digital devices and making new friendships. 

“Our mission is to empower youth through movement, social connection and sharing wellness knowledge.”

Another organisation, YMCA Hawke’s Bay, received $16,500 for its Raise Up programme.

YMCA HB chief executive Annette Mossman said Raise Up had been run by the YMCA in Auckland for 20 years and that it was exciting to be bringing the programme to Hastings. 

Run by youth, the programme was aimed at young people aged 12 to 18 and included weekly activities and development opportunities tailored to their interests – from sports to music, dance, fashion, leadership training, art and more.

“Raise Up has been designed to offer youth a safe and positive environment in which to relax, socialise and achieve their goals.”

She said the grant would go towards funding a co-ordinator position for the programme.

To find out more about HDC grants and funding, and this year’s recipients of the Single Year Community Grants go to

10 June 2022

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