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Central Lakes Trust latest grants approved

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Thirty young Central Otago females will hit the local mountain bike trails weekly before the end of the month participating in a Central Otago based outdoor adventure programme. The Journeys Charitable Trust received a $25K grant from Central Lakes Trust for Journeys Central Otago next 18 months. The programme uses the challenge of various activities in accessible local outdoor 'wild' areas to develop skills and knowledge which enhance wellbeing, resilience, self-worth and belief of young female participants aged between 12 - 15.

Developed in 2018 by three Alexandra woman, the programme was selected in 2019 as part of the Sport NZ Innovations for Young Women fund and with the associated funding the programme was further developed beyond the initial pilot. Journeys co-founder, Megan Longman says it was her own personal experience that compelled her, with friend Kim Froggatt to create the programme. "We see less females in the outdoors, yet speaking from experience, getting out amongst nature is a powerful tool for growth and self-confidence.

Currently on offer in Alexandra, Clyde, and Omakau, the group hope to extend to the wider Central Otago area over the coming year.

Thirty year 8 -10 young females are enrolled for this seasons programme, with a further five spaces available. It involves weekly two-hour mountain biking sessions, spread over four groups run by 12 trained wāhine, and transitions into on-foot navigation activities in the autumn. "We used lockdown as a chance for programme development, evaluation and training, and now have 12 wāhine to run the four groups for the upcoming programme," Longman says.

CLT Grants Manager Mat Begg says that there isn’t a similar programme for young females.

"CLT has spent quite a bit of time reviewing the youth sector to better understand the issues facing our young people today. Journeys Central Otago is a great example of a group that have done their research, and identified a need in our community for local girls to connect and develop self-confidence, resilience and outdoor skills. We look forward to seeing the progress they make over the programme"

The volunteer instructors are trained in both the physical aspects of the adventures along with the life skills aspects to develop resilience, self-worth and belief, confidence, coping in situations outside of their comfort zones, independence, leadership and general wellbeing. Local girls are invited to apply through the website, to find out more visit

A grant of $425,000 towards earthquake strengthening, of the Lakes District Museum’s former Bank of New Zealand building gets the project over the line says Museum Director, David Clarke. The museum board had struggled to find funders to assist before QLDC and the shovel ready fund came to the party. Two million was approved from the 'shovel ready' fund in July 2020, and just over $1 million from QLDC prior to that. With Central Lakes Trust coming to the party for $425,000 and the museum stumping up the rest, work is commencing this October.

Built in 1865, the category 2 heritage building had been tagged as earthquake-prone, requiring a $3.5 million strengthening by 2025. Without completing the work the viability of the museum operation is at risk.

In addition, the building will be restored and the museum’s displays will be removed and upgraded.

"On completion the new display areas will include an extended display of pre-European Maori history in the Southern Lakes and local geology. This will enhance the visitor experience for both locals and overseas tourists," Clarke says.

The Alexandra Baptist Church’s north wing, renovated in 2018, provides meeting rooms and spaces for use by the community, often alleviating overflow demand from Alexandra Community House. They receive $50K towards renovating the west wing of their facility to provide further meeting rooms and spaces for community groups use.

Central Lakes Trust approved $625K worth of grants back into the Central Lakes community at its September grants meeting. Since the Trust commenced 20 years ago, it has returned over $115 million back into the community. A total of $6.70m of the $9.40 million grants budget for the 2020/21 financial year has been allocated to date.

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