Hawke’s Bay Foundation Faces Record Funding Demands

  • Left image: Determination pays off for Fencer General at Parakanapa Station, Jess McConnachie, getting up on skis for the first time at the Wairoa ‘Farmers on Skis’ day. (image supplied)
  • Right image: Hawke’s Bay Foundation funding will help to sustain operations amid increasing workloads for Napier Family Centre’s family services team. (image supplied)

More charities than ever before applied for 2022 funding through Hawke’s Bay Foundation which has seen near record distributions recently sustain the operation of 49 local charities.

Through Hawke’s Bay Foundation funding, almost a quarter of a million dollars ($246,551) has buffered the coffers of charities spanning the region’s service sector from: social services to health to environment to the arts. It’s welcome relief amid an increasingly uncertain economic climate where Community Foundations are progressively providing a backbone of sustainable support for New Zealand’s not-for-profit sector.

Since its inception ten years ago, Hawke’s Bay Foundation has been supporting local charities with long-term sustainable funding streams – gifting $2.54M to 352 local organisations since 2012.

Hawke’s Bay Foundation Distributions Committee Chair Sarah Mulcahy says despite additional government funding, Community Foundations are filling the funding gap for organisations battling to remain operational.

“I’ve been involved in the grants sector for many years and I’ve never seen such high demand for funders like us. This year we received 93 applications for charity funding and we’ve been able to meet the needs of just over half of those. The decisions are always difficult and this year the number of funding requests continued to be substantially above the available funds.”

Sarah Mulcahy says as funders their mandate this year was to balance the need for social support and connection against the other requirements of thriving communities such as the arts and climate initiatives.

“We have set priorities which are broad and the distribution committee works diligently to consider every application on its merits against the priorities and available funds.”

As a well established provider of social services in Hawke’s Bay, Napier Family Centre is thankful for continued Hawke’s Bay Foundation funding. Chief Executive Officer Kerry Henderson says the grant will help sustain their child and youth counseling services and family therapy work.

“Over the last financial year we delivered 14 educational programmes to over 50 children and 90 adults. We also supported 99 clients with 1:1 social work which equated to close to 1,500 direct hours of social work. In addition to this we also had close to 2,000 counselling appointments booked and we supported close to 400 new people to increase their wellbeing and resiliency across a range of areas through counselling.

“Gone are the days where we are there to service the majority of our most vulnerable; we are now seeing a lot more clients from diverse backgrounds. More and more middle income families are needing our services and support as they are struggling to make ends meet. With the rising costs of living, inflation and associated impacts more people are needing support.

“Many families cannot afford counselling and face serious issues being left untreated as funding through the health system runs out quickly and the demand is greater than we can provide – and also greater than CAFS at our DHB can provide. We wish to use our grants and donations to do more for our tamariki and put preventative strategies in place before they reach the DHB CAFS system.

“Knowing we have the ongoing support of Hawke’s Bay Foundation gives us confidence to help plan for the future and offer free courses and 1:1 counselling to help increase whānau wellbeing.”

Other charities to receive funding this year include 7 from Wairoa and Central Hawke’s Bay. Wairoa Community Development Trust’s initiative Farmers on Skis is in its second year and Trust Administrator Sue Wilson says support for it is taking off.

“Farmers have had a tough few years, and in Wairoa that’s having detrimental effects for the many who live in isolated areas. We’re all about promoting activities that encourage social inclusion and help develop networks and improve community connections and access to wellbeing services.

“Mental health risks for rural folk are statistically higher if you follow the figures. We came up with Wairoa Farmers on Skis to give local farmers an opportunity to get together for an afternoon on the Wairoa river, to ski, have a yarn and a barbeque. It’s a chance to release stress, have fun, build camaraderie and connections, talk about current local farming pressures in a relaxed manner and enhance mental wellness.”

Sue Wilson says funding from Hawke’s Bay Foundation is helping drive better outcomes.

“Working in isolation day on day, without the ability to have that chat when something goes wrong. Being stoic or not having the confidence to ask for help, farmers need outlets like Farmers on Skis to blow off steam and feel like they’re part of a collective community, and aren’t alone.”

Connecting community is also what galvanized a group of Central Hawke’s Bay volunteers to swing into food parcel deliveries to locals back in Covid lockdown. The Food Basket CHB is now so popular it’s curbing a burgeoning overflow of demand on local food banks.

Co-ordinator Melanie King says 350 households on average every week need their help – (that’s 700 boxes to feed 1,505 people). Hawke’s Bay Foundation funding is helping reimburse the 25 volunteers who use their own vehicles to make the deliveries.

“Unfortunately our volunteer’s would be out of pocket if we didn’t have this funding from Hawkes Bay Foundation. We need support and Hawkes Bay Foundation understand and share the values and intentions we have for our Kaupapa. Words cannot really express our gratitude, but the expressions conveyed on the faces of our food support recipients speaks volumes.”

For a full list of successful 2022 funding applicants, head to: www.hawkesbayfoundation.org.nz/who-benefits