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We Can Help With That Funding Recipients

Congratulations to our We Can Help With That funding recipients who continue to do outstanding things in our community.

Thank you for your contribution to our community!

2020 Funding Round 3 Recipients

Pataua Outdoor Education & Recreation Trust

Operating since 1980, from grounds of the former Pataua School, the Pataua Outdoor Education and Recreation Trust (POERT) is a charitable trust offering a self-catering school camp facility for education outside the classroom, primarily to educational organisations and groups wanting to experience Northlands east coast.

With the aim to “provide outdoor education and character training – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – for all boys, girls, adolescents and young men and women or any other interested person whether residing or attending school in the Northland district or elsewhere within New Zealand” the Board of Trustees has managed and been responsible for the use of the grounds and it’s various building which include a kitchen/shower complex, a half-round barn, accommodation facilities, a toilet block plus an old school building acquired from Auckland, literally barged onto its current site in 1983, and its classrooms which were converted into the current Community Hall.

The Trust grounds and buildings have evolved over the years to become the central hub of the community – used for Gala Days, sports events, fundraisers, social occasions, etc – in addition to its primary function as a centre where locals and visitors acquire or improve skills and confidence in outdoor pursuits.

Demand for use of the Trust’s facilities is now very high – to the point that it will soon be unable to cope. Although the overall plan is to further develop the site to give Pataua a unique recreational and learning environment in a new all-weather facility, the Trust approached us to support them with the purchase of wet-paint for their shower block which was used at their working-bee to help in keeping the current facility operational.

Mt Manaia Bowling Club

Mt. Manaia Bowling Club, situated in Parua Bay, is a non-profit club belonging to the New Zealand Charities Commission and affiliated to Bowls New Zealand and Bowls Northland. The club is family focused with a culture that welcomes all ages, and plays an important part in the Whangarei Heads community.

Promoting community involvement and connection the club provides opportunities for recreation and sporting activities for all ages. The community spirit which saw 100 founding members bring the club to fruition in the late 1980s continues to live on.  The establishment of this rural club was a great achievement in terms of planning and community involvement, and the spirit lives on through years of fundraising, grant acquisition, determination and teamwork.  Throughout the year they host non-bowling events in their licensed clubhouse to help with fundraising and support the local community.

Seeking to eliminate a significant health and safety risk for players and visitors the club approached us to assist in the replacement of rink numbers and boundary markers.  The purchase was needed to manage the risks to all those using the facility, ensuring the club continues to provide an excellent, and safe, venue in the local community for years to come.

Whangarei Garden Discovery Trust

The Whangarei Garden Discovery Trust approached us to support them with their biannual Garden Discovery being run in November 2020. This community fundraiser for the Quarry Gardens was almost cancelled due to drought, then Covid-19, but their dedicated events team decided it was the perfect opportunity to give back and celebrate the community spirit that is at the heart of the Quarry Gardens – giving Whangarei people the opportunity to enjoy our relative freedom and quite literally explore our own backyards (17 of which are being represented at this year’s event).

Whangarei Quarry Gardens is a community garden project created by volunteers in the remnants of a former stone quarry in the forested western hills of Whangarei City and is a real asset to the community. With the ongoing support of Whangarei District Council, Community Employment Groups and many loyal sponsors and friends, the once dilapidated quarry site has become a subtropical oasis and is a powerful example of the strength of a community that cares for their environment.

Titoki Playcentre

Titoki Playcentre are part of a 400+ strong network of Playcentres across New Zealand where parents can engage in their childrens’ learning through play – fostering the involvement of whānau through early childhood education.

Opting to not charge parents fees for attendance, the Titoki Playcentre rely primarily on Government funding and grants to remain operational. It was the volunteers who run the centre who approached us to purchase a wooden set of marae and pa buildings – an interactive resource to encourage the use of Te Reo and Te Ao Māori through play. Understanding that children learn and develop best when their culture, knowledge and community are affirmed through play, these New Zealand made, hand-crafted taonga are a perfect resource for their centre to further enhance the Te Ao Maori resources available – ensuring that their children have access to items that are related to culture and identity to further aid a sense of belonging.

Whangarei BMX Club

BMX is a fast-growing sport, and Whangarei are now one of the leading clubs in New Zealand in terms of membership numbers and growth.  Located at Pohe Island, Riverside, Whangarei BMX Club has been running for over 35 years and has a current membership of over 80 riders ranging in ages from 3-50+ years of age. Families see it as a way to get kids into a structured individual sport that from a young age is very social and family orientated, and the Club’s focus is on organizing and promoting the sport within the region.

With a world-class facility-track-wise, the committee approached us for funding to help upgrade their club canteen – which has never been upgraded, but provides a small amount of revenue for the club and is an important facility for them.

Whananaki School Board

So excited by their new Pump Track, the Whananaki School Board approached us for funding to purchase scooters and helmets for their students. – A pump track is a circuit of rollers, banked turns and features designs to be ridden on by scooters, bikes and skateboards – great for skills development, excercise and camaraderie. The track provides a hub for the isolated community – promoting physical fitness, participation and connection, and the purchase of the scooters will allow more kids to get involved, learn new skills, get fit and have fun – helping the children progress and develop with confidence.

Whananaki School is set on the idyllic east coast, 45 minutes north-east of Whangarei.  A Decile 4 school with three classrooms, catering to students up to Year 8 they have a developing community and a roll of just over 50 students, the school really is at the heart of this isolated community – and the new track will become a social hub of activity and interaction… a real asset to their community.  Actively fundraising to provide opportunities for their students to progress, and being big believers in providing equal opportunities for all their students, the School Board realised that not everyone had access to the necessary equipment to enjoy the new infrastructure, and so approached us to assist them with the purchase of these items which would stay on school premises.

Ngunguru Bowling Club

The Ngunguru Bowling Club serves as a focal point for the Tutukaka Coast community. Membership is currently at 40, and members are drawn from as far North as Matapouri and as far south as Whangarei – with their tournaments drawing entrants from across the Northland region.  The club serves as both a playing facility and a socially interactive meeting place – where friendships are formed and community spirit is developed.

The artificial turf used for the green requires ongoing maintenance in order to prolong its life. While new artificial greens can cost upwards of $300,000 (which is seen as an existential threat to the longevity of many bowling greens across our county) it is imperative to prolong the life of a green to maximise the greens use and avoid unnecessary costs.  This is why the club approached us to support them with the purchase of a mechanical grooming machine which can be used by all members to help keep the green meticulously clean and prolong its life by minimising wear on the artificial surface. We are confident our purchase will help them use the facility for many years to come.

Kamo Primary School

Kamo Primary School’s funding is spread across 21 classrooms and over 500 students.  Each and every day the teachers strive to give their students the best education and experiences possible – despite their background and personal circumstances. To ensure that once they leave school they are able to pursue any opportunity they wish – regardless of where they came from. The school approached us for funds to purchase learning support resources for students who require additional support with their understanding of phonetics and letter sounds – the foundation for success in spelling, reading and writing.

To ensure that all students are given the skills to succeed at school, and beyond, we assisted the school with the purchase of a Targeted Literacy Intervention Project (The Code and Little Learner readers). These are evidence based and scientifically researched New Zealand developed resources for improving the outcomes for all students through effective teaching focusing on reading and spelling, and equip teachers with the knowledge and ability to deliver an effective, sound and quality literacy program where all students are monitored and taught for their specific needs and goals. – Knowing that where there is success, there is passion and where there is passion there is drive we believe the future is limitless and these resources will ensure that the teachers can put their skills straight to use and assist students to develop not only their reading and writing but also their confidence – enabling them to achieve to their fullest potential and set them up for greatness.

Ngunguru Football Club

Established over 30 years ago, Ngunguru Football Club has worked tirelessly to expand their club over recent times – growing it to a membership of over 170 people – with two senior teams, two youth teams and five junior teams  while still being run by a volunteer group of coaches, managers and committee members.

The club owned four junior football goals which are used every Saturday for competition matches. These goals were all in a poor state, so in 2018 the Club committed to replacing one per season (due to the cost).  Unfortunately this season has been severely disrupted by Covid-19, and while the club have been able to meet all the health and safety requirements to stay operational and keep playing, it meant there were insufficient funds left to purchase the last remaining goal.  (Fundraising efforts were also hampered due to Covid-19 restrictions). Using a now cracked goal was clearly a safety concern, and we were happy step in and assist with the purchase of a replacement so that the junior games could proceed for the season and years to come.

Maungakaramea Playcentre

Focusing on the topic of ‘He Kakano” which means ‘Growth, Development and Expansion’ Maungakaramea Playcentre are doing an ‘incredible edibles’ project with their Tamaraiki. Their project involves planting an edible hedge and raised garden beds so their Tamariki can grow their own kai and learn how to care for it and ultimately prepare and eat it.  With a focus on sustainability, this evolving project also encompasses heathy eating, healthy bodies, gardening systems and identifying good and bad bugs in the garden, companion planting, waste reduction, sharing and so much more…  It is envisaged that this project undertaken by Maungakaramea Playcentre will extend out and benefit the wider community.

Playcentres are a vital part of New Zealand offering a special place for families with young children to play, grow and learn together, as well as forge meaningful friendships with other families in the community. With a focus on child-led learning they provide a sense of belonging as families share responsibilities and decision making.  Each Playcentre around New Zealand is cooperatively managed by parents and supported by Playcentre Aotearoa and Federation staff at a national level. This provides centres with both the independence and support to meet the specific needs of their own area.  Every village, every community can shape what’s important to families in the area.

2020 Funding Round 2 Recipients

Pukenui Western Hills Forest Charitable Trust

Pukenui Western Hills Forest Charitable Trust are passionate about preserving native forest and wildlife in and around Whangarei.

The area known as Pukenui Forest, or Western Hills, is a dominant feature and treasure of the people and city of Whangarei. The eastern fringes of the forest are bounded by the edge of the city itself – from Maunu in the South to Western Hills Drive and Kamo in the North.⁠  It is a relatively large area of native (temperate) lowland broadleaf forest, a type of habitat now rare in New Zealand. It is known to contain a number of threatened species, including long-tailed bat, North Island brown kiwi and New Zealand wood pigeon.

We were proud to provide Pukenui Western Hills Forest Trust with funding for new trail cameras so they can continue their work preserving native forest and wildlife and asking everyone to be advocates for our kiwi.

North Coast Board Riders Club

The North Cost Board Riders Club approached us for funding to purchase a defibrillator lock box – so that they could make their defibrillator accessible to their community. Housed on the external wall of their Sandy Bay club rooms tourists and the rural community alike are now able to access to unit. Being in an isolated, rural location means it can take longer for emergency services to arrive, so having access to the defibrillator now means more immediate action can be taken in the event of an emergency.  We felt this purchase added value to an already vibrant and busy community and tourist destination – prioritising the safety on all those who live in and visit this coastal community.

Established in 1978 the North Coast Board Riders Club supported and assisted local surfers in realising their full potential while promoting sustainability and community through club activities. The club regularly host beach clean-ups, dune preservation initiatives and planting days to help preserve their ‘playground’ – demonstrating a high level of commitment to the community and the environment.

Whau Valley School

Whau Valley School is a decile 2 school filled with fabulous, friendly and fun-filled tamariki who love to learn. After their library was decommissioned and converted to classrooms, teachers, support staff, families and the community rallied together, with the help of Ministry of Education, and have work tirelessly to reinstate the school’s library and create a multi-purpose environment of which they are proud.

You will see teachers, children, friends and families sharing the newly designed space. With big plans ahead, and so many needs to be met, the school approached us for supplementary funding to purchase a new computer (replacing their only existing computer – a single obsolete model) to ensure the space becomes an even more useful, valuable and accessible information hub for their staff, tamaraki and whanau. The new computer will be used for educational activities, community outreach efforts and enhancement of the space where children can be creative and imaginative in their use of technology.

2020 Funding Round 1 Recipients

Northland Arts Centre

Whangarei’s only casual and respite arts facility the Northland Arts Centre is a local not for profit organisation dedicated to bringing healing through arts and positive influence. Their fully qualified teachers are experts at delivering clear, simple lessons with big impact – and aim at building community and connections through art.

Art and creativity is proven to be an effective outlet for self-expression and healing, and the Centre approached us to support them in rolling out a unique program for those suffering grief, mental health or poverty.

Art has long provided a way for humans to work through the tricky ebbs and flows of life and offers creative relief in trying times. Julia Tapp who runs the Centre uses the power of art therapy to help those under her care: building a sense of well-being and function in day-to-day living without any expectation or pressure to achieve perfection, and allowing people to change their outlook and find some respite.

Manaia View School

Manaia View School is a decile 1 school in Raumaunga who strive for educational success for all. They pride themselves on providing as many opportunities for their students as possible, but they struggle to fund all the tools that they feel necessary to best enhance learning. The school already work hard to ensure that all students have equitable access to learning tools and that any funding shortfalls come at no cost to other areas, nor fall on teachers to fundraise to ensure student needs are met.

The School’s digital learning programmes have contributed significantly to raising achievement by increasing student engagement and providing a range of learning activities that cater to individual needs. However insufficient funding meant they were unable to fund digital learning programmes in Maths to their year 4-6 students.Their application to us was made to us with the goal of raising student achievement using a motivational tool called ‘Mathletics’ that has proven to engage learners in what can often be a challenging subject.  A highly motivating tool for student learning Mathletics has been run with great success for their older students – giving teachers the ability to closely monitor student progress and set individual pathways in an engaging format.

Developing key knowledge of mathematical fundamentals at an earlier age has proven to equate to greater progress further on as students start look at more complex mathematical concepts.  Thought the purchase of additional online subscriptions the school can now expand this program to benefit their younger students who struggle with the subject, and maximise learning opportunities for all.

2019 Funding Round 2 Recipients

Tiaho Trust

The only event of it’s kind in Whangarei, the Tiaho Trust’s Ruakaka Surf Day ‘Surfs Up’ event, gives disabled youths and adults an opportunity to catch a wave in a fun, safe environment. In order to keep this event free for participants, the Tiaho Trust approached us for funding for this unique event that brings enabled and disabled people together to learn from each other. Through events such as these the Tiaho work to promote the disabled community as valued citizens who contribute, participate and add to the diversity of New Zealand society.

Tiaho Trust aims to significantly contribute to the New Zealand Disability Strategy’s vision of ‘A society that highly values the lives and continually enhances the full participation of disabled people’ by positioning themselves as the leading proactive disability led organisation in Tai Tokerau from which the community can obtain expert advice and support.

SPCA Whangarei

Urgently needing assistance in the lead-up to ‘kitten season’, the Whangarei SPCA approached us for funding for their Foster Kitten Packs. The funds are being used purchase the basic items needed for a kitten’s placement with foster families – before they return to the centre for adoption. Foster families volunteering to take animals into their care are the backbone of the SPCA’s ability to rehome so many abandoned, neglected, abused and orphaned animals. In addition to the hundreds of animals in SPCA centres across New Zealand, thousands more are being cared for in foster homes.

The SPCA helps protect over 40,000 animals in New Zealand every year. Animals who are sick, injured, abused or simply abandoned. Over 800 cats and kittens are adopted out of the Whangarei Centre each year, but unfortunately many of the animals that come into the Whangarei Centre need extra treatment, and/or socialisation before finding their forever home which places extra stress on funding.

Hatea Lions Club of Whangarei

The Whangarei Hatea Lions regularly donate their time to the successful ‘Summer Safe Carparks’ programme coordinated by Whangarei District Council under the City Safe umbrella and supported by the New Zealand Police, and a range of dedicated local community organisations.  Since December 2010, carpark ambassadors have been looking after car parks near popular beaches and reserves throughout the busy summer period with the aim of preventing theft from vehicles parked at popular tourist spots to create a positive experience for carpark visitors, and has proven to be an invaluable contribution towards ensuring a safe district with no vehicle crime committed in those areas whilst the ambassadors were on duty.

As Summer Safe Carpark ambassadors, the Whangarei Hatea Lions Club volunteers not only ensure that public carparks are clean, and will report on any vandalism, maintenance issues or suspicious behavior, but also offer assistance and advice – ensuring a positive experience for all visitors. Patrolling for hours in the hot summer conditions, the club wanted to ensure that their own volunteers were well protected from the sun – and we were only too happy to help with the funds needed for Cancer Society Approved hats for their volunteers who regularly roll up their sleeves to help the community.

Lions are ordinary men, women and young people from all walks of life who are united in their desire to make a difference by contributing their time and talents to help other people.

Northwave Swim Club

Committed to giving swimmers the opportunity to enjoy their sport and reach their goals, the Northwave Swim Club approached us to assist them with pool lane hire fees over the summer period. This support means their swimmers can train six days per week under the guidance of two experienced coaches as they train for a series of local and national events.

A well established club, with experienced coaches, their swimmers have proven that you don’t have to move to a big city to be competitive at a high level.

2019 Funding Round 1 Recipients

Forget Me Not Adult Day Centre (Northland Disabled Charitable Trust)

The Centre provides a day care service for adults of all ages including those who are young with disabilities, the elderly and frail, those with memory loss, head injuries and/ or other disabilities. With a focus on inclusion and engagement, The centre strive to provide quality care that enhances the welfare not only of the clients but also of the carers and families and provide a range of activities for their clients to enjoy – including running regular art classes.  These classes encourage the development of fine motor skills, mental stimulation and a sense of achievement, and with so many wanting to develop their art skills we have provided additional art supplies to support this program.

Opuawhanga Tennis Inc

Opuawhanga Tennis Club is committed to providing a healthy and safe place for local families to exercise and meet and have been an integral part of the local community for over 80 years. They strive to make tennis accessible to all in their communities so rely on fundraising, donations and external funding to keep subs low. Their members have also worked hard on making grants stretch by volunteering their own time to reduce maintenance and labour costs. New nets were needed for their recently resurfaced tennis courts, and we were delighted to assist them with this.

Hukerenui School – Room 7 Quarry Arts Centre Excursion

When Jodie wanted to take her class on an artistic adventure and experience education outside of the classroom she approached We Can Help With That for funding. Knowing that the tools and equipment are not always available through school resources, that the course costs may be prohibitive for some parents, and being tactile sensitive herself she and her students put together a stunning proposal to attend The Quarry Arts Centre’s Art Discovers Program – a visual education program to inspire and educate the next generation of artists.  We were happy to see these students had a wonderful experience and opportunity to experience art and, learning from them and sharing skills.

Raurimu Avenue School

The Raurimu Avenue School were seeking support for their Ohua ki Raurimu festival – an annual celebration of performing arts which involves invitational performance groups from Primary Schools within Whangarei.  A small school of only 75 students, they proudly host this non-competitive event which celebrates schools, whanau and communities and the performing arts – whilst giving students the opportunity to shine.  We Can Help With That provided funding for the equipment necessary to host and run this event.

Bike Northland

Bike Northland provide cycle skills training to school children around Whangarei. Their program is delivered free to schools, and while they receive funding to deliver the course, this does not cover the associated equipment needed. By providing funding to their program, We Can Help With That wish to ensure that all students have access to the equipment they need to learn how to ride ina fun and safe way – and hope these skills will promote confidence and healthy active lifestyles.

Bream Bay Community Patrol

The Bream Bay Community Patrol approached us to provide a simple upgrade to vital safety equipment needed to control traffic at road accident scenes and provide safety for passing motorists which we purchased for them.

Coastguard Tutukaka 

Coastguard Tutukaka operate from Bream head to Whangaruru and out beyond the Poor Knights Islands which is is a growing destination for recreational water activities and they are experiencing increased demand from personal recreational craft requiring their services. Their team of volunteers pride themselves on providing a professional service, and they were last year recognised as Coastguard Northland’s Unit of the Year.  Their team were seeking a signage upgrade to provide higher visibility to water users and important emergency contact information – while acknowledging their employees, volunteers and other supporters who allow them to continue provide their core service, Saving Lives at Sea.  Despite receiving some national funding, a considerable amount of local funding is still required for their operations.

Whangarei Steam & Model Railway Club

The Whangarei Steam & Model Railway Club operates at Heritage Park, Maunu.  Incorporated in 1978 for the purpose of acquiring, preserving, and operating vintage steam and diesel trains for the education and enjoyment of club members and the general public, the railway operates monthly and on special occasions over its own 0.8 kilometer main track.  Operated throughout its existence by volunteers, who ensure the safe operation and maintenance of the railway, about 5000 hours of voluntary labour per year goes into the operation and maintenance of the railway.  While the railway has received funding for capital works projects they largely pay their way by charging the public for rides. Members are currently working to complete the restoration of their second 1924 tram – which involves the replacement of all woodwork and engine refurbishment. Needing tools to complete this work, as well as ongoing maintenance We Can Help With That has provided them funding for additional tools to ensure patrons will be able to enjoy and ride safely on restored heritage vehicles.

Whangarei Toy Library (Regent Community Trust)

Whangarei Community Toy Library provides an affordable toy lending service to Whangarei families. Over 200 families are active members with an average attendance of 25-30 families per day. The library makes it possible for every family to experience quality play though an up to date and extensive selection of toys and equipment. Wanting to ensure the safety of their staff, volunteers and patrons they approached We Can Help With That for funding to upgrade their signage and we were only too happy to help

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