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The West gets $1 million through new charitable funding model

The Trusts are distributing $1 million into The West through a new charitable funding model set to help address inequity.

The entity comprising the Portage and Waitākere Licensing Trusts opens the Your West Support Fund and the Your West Innovation Fund on 18 March 2024. Under the framework, the funding will back projects and organisations that can contribute towards long-term positive change in The West.

The grants focus on initiatives that support or are led by communities experiencing inequity in The Trusts’ region. The goal is to enable everyone to reach the starting line to lead a good life in The West. This means having the ability to participate, to access opportunities, resources, networks, and supports, that enable people to do well on their own terms.

The development of the funding model has been based on research that surveyed more than 200 charities and community groups throughout The West, as well as supporting data from other sources.

Respondents were asked to identify the biggest issues or trends that will affect communities living in the region over the next 20 years.

More than a quarter of those surveyed (27%) saw social issues or trends having the biggest impact on the community in the future, followed by economic factors (21%) and the environment (17%).

The Elected Members listened to this feedback and developed a strategy that responded to the information.

Funding Information

Members of the community can apply for their share of $750,000 through Your West Support Fund. The Trusts has set aside one-off grants to support community initiatives associated with key focus areas. This can include support for project, operating or capital costs.

The debut Your West Innovation Fund will see community groups applying for their share of $250,000. This fund is designed to support investment in initiatives aligned with key focus areas and having a high potential for impact. This could include investment in seed funding, testing of small-scale innovations, co-design, social enterprises, and evaluation.

Applications for both funds will close on 15 April 2024.

The forthcoming funding round will centre on:

• Improving the lives of young people

• Connected, resilient and thriving communities

Sustainable environments

• Partnering with Māori and/or supporting Pacific communities (Applicants aligning with this focus area must be a kaupapa Māori or a Pacific-led organisation)

Priority will be given to initiatives that support or are led by communities experiencing inequity in the region, including but not limited to:

• Māori

• Pacific

• MELAA (Middle Eastern, Latin American and African)

• Refugee-background

• Avondale, Ōwairaka, Henderson, Massey and Rānui

Precedence will also be given to initiatives that:

• Contribute to positive, long-term impact

• Involve collaboration

• Contribute to increased connection and inclusion

CEO of The Trusts, Allan Pollard, says respondents were eager to see investment in rangatahi through youth-led support programmes and the rejuvenation of areas with a high presence of youth. Evidence shows that socio-economic deprivation and other inequities are experienced more by young people and by Māori, Pacific, and diverse ethnic groups, he says.

Pollard says unsurprisingly respondents at the coal face of community need said economic factors would continue to be a significant issue for the area over the next two decades.

“Families are struggling and finding it hard to make ends meet and with living costs continuing to rise even middle-class families were reaching out for support.

“In addition to economic factors, climate change and kaitiakitanga (guardianship of the sky, land, and sea) were key concerns for the majority of respondents,” he says.

“Respondents were eager for our organisation to support local initiatives to help support ecosystems and restore biodiversity, reduce emissions and waste, mitigate climate change and educate those in the community on how to live more sustainably.”

The research shows clearly there is significant social, economic and environmental need in the West Auckland area. “Based on this evidence, The Trusts have developed key focus areas that will support community where the most impact can be made.”

Learn more about the new funding strategy and priorities.