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Final round of local mental health funding

The Wānaka App

22 March 2024, 4:04 PM

Final round of local mental health fundingTe Kākano admin and nursery assistant Nik Woolford (left) and trust manager Loran Verpillot at ‘Find your Perfect Match’, a volunteer speed-dating event funded through Connecting Communities.

The final round of Connecting Communities funding for mental wellbeing initiatives will open in early April.


Run by Te Hau Toka Southern Lakes Wellbeing Group, the Connecting Communities fund supports community-led activities and events across Queenstown Lakes which encourage people to connect, look after themselves and each other, and have some fun.

Eligible not-for-profit organisations and groups can apply for up to $1,000 to assist with funding their activity or event.

With government funding for the programme coming to a close on June 30, Te Hau Toka chair Adell Cox said her team is focused on spreading as much value as possible in the final round.


“We’re mindful that this is our last big opportunity to help communities set themselves up to keep prioritising mental health and wellbeing and looking after each other beyond the end of our funding,” she said.


“While we’re through the Covid-19 pandemic, we know that our communities are still recovering and battling challenges like burnout, cost of living, loneliness and isolation which continue to impact on their wellbeing.

“Every community across the region is different and they’re best placed to know what works for them. We really want to hear their ideas, whether they’re new or carrying on with ones that are going really well.”


Since Te Hau Toka launched Connecting Communities in November 2021 it’s become one of its most successful initiatives, Adell said.


“It shows the power of supporting people to find their own solutions,” she said. “We’ve seen how providing a little bit of money across a lot of people every few months has enabled communities to come up with their own innovative ways to combat the different mental health and wellbeing challenges they’re experiencing.”

Recipients have included a wide range of initiatives including youth-led weekly pickleball sessions for youth and parents at Wānaka's new Paetara Aspiring Central; ‘Make it MINT’ upcycling workshops for individuals with disabilities by MINT Trust and Wānaka Community Workshop.

There’s also been a speed-dating style event to match organisations and volunteers in Wānaka run by Volunteer South; training events for men at the Wānaka Community Workshops; and a pride flag mural at Te Kura o Tititea Mt Aspiring College.

The final Connecting Communities funding round opens on April 8 and closes on April 18.

More details, including how to apply, can be found here.

PHOTO: Supplied