Grants designed to connect people

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Building community . . . Mosgiel place-based co-ordinator Jacqui Hyde (left) and Saddle Hill Foundation Trust community facilitator Joy Davis look to progress their work on community development in Mosgiel. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

The Dunedin City Council grants subcommittee recently allocated $300,000 in funding to seven “place-based” community groups across the city. The funding, which ranges from $31,000 to $55,000, will be used to help with the costs of building community connection and resilience for the next 12 months. In the coming weeks, reporters will highlight the programmes and projects the funding will support in your communities. The series continues with Saddle Hill Foundation Trust and Otago Neighbourhood Support Partnership in the Mosgiel area.

A partnership is making the Mosgiel-Taieri area a safer place to live.

The Dunedin City Council has committed in principle to give a partnership of Saddle Hill Foundation Trust and Otago Neighbourhood Support, a $101,415 place-based community grant over three years.

The council recently gave the trust its second instalment of $33,405.

Trust community facilitator Joy Davis said the money would be used to pay wages for 30 hours of work a week, designed to connect the community in the greater Mosgiel-Taieri area, making it safer and more resilient.

Mrs Davis was paid for a 10-hour-a-week role and Mosgiel place-based co-ordinator Jacqui Hyde was paid for a 20-hour-a-week role.

A way the organisation made the community feel safer was by holding events where people could get to know their neighbours.

The events were important as the population in the area was booming and many people were new to the area.

“The events help new people to the area get local knowledge and connect with their neighbour.”

A seminar the organisation held earlier this year taught people ways to avoid being scammed.

Other events the organisation have held this year include an afternoon tea and sing-along at Chatsford Retirement Village, a mid-winter seniors lunch in East Taieri, a Neighbours Day celebration, a seminar on how to manage your finances, discussing topics such as tax and KiwiSaver, getting Red Cross to show how to open a welfare centre, restarting a community garden in East Taieri and helping Housing New Zealand hold its annual Christmas party in Murray St.

Future events would include a seminar on safety in the home for seniors.

Another plan was to survey residents and use the responses to develop a work plan for the partnership.

Another series of future seminars was being planned to help people prepare for their death by providing advice on topics such as preparing a will, power of attorney and funeral costs.

“We are a society who doesn’t like to talk about it.”

Mrs Hyde said a Christmas barbecue event was planned at Mosgiel Football Club in Memorial Park last night.

The event was run by Otago Neighbourhood Support, the trust, police and Civil Defence “to recognise the work everyone has done to make Mosgiel a safer place”.