Sonya is a social issues reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Acorn Foundation gives 'shot in the arm' to charities

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Waipuna Hospice chief executive Dr Richard Thurlow says funding from the Acorn Foundation is a "shot in the arm" for the organisation. Photo/File
Waipuna Hospice chief executive Dr Richard Thurlow says funding from the Acorn Foundation is a "shot in the arm" for the organisation. Photo/File

Charities and community groups have been given a well-needed "shot in the arm" from the Acorn Foundation's annual grants round.

This year's grants totalled a record $776,000 for 96 organisations across the Western Bay of Plenty and beyond.

Recipients included Waipuna Hospice, with $50,778, the 2017 Acorn Foundation Literary Award and Graeme Dingle Foundation WBOP, which each received $50,000, and the Salvation Army Tauranga which received $43,328.

Waipuna Hospice chief executive Richard Thurlow said the funding was "an amazing shot in the arm" for an organisation that had to raise $2.5 million this year alone.

"We've started the new financial year with a nice cheque, that is fantastic."

Dr Thurlow said grants from the Acorn Foundation had gradually increased in the last three years as more dedicated funds from different parties became available.

Dan Allen-Gordon, Graeme Dingle Foundation Bay of Plenty regional manager, said the foundation's Kiwi Can programme was one of the first major funding recipients three years ago.

"We got $50,000 this year and last year, and $20,000 the year before. This funding will help us reach 2400 kids every week with values and life skills. We have four teams teaching across four things - positive relationships, resilience, respect and integrity."

Mr Allen-Gordon said the foundation's four leaders taught through mentoring, coaching, sports and arts, and built strong relationships with the children they worked with.

Salvation Army Tauranga community ministries manager Davina Plummer said it cost about $320,000 for the organisation to do what it did.

She said the great thing about the Acorn Foundation was the money was sustainable so organisations like the Salvation Army could budget for the money every year.

The money would go towards funding the church's successful family programmes.

Acorn Foundation general manager Nicky Wilkins said it was amazing to think 10 years ago the foundation was only just getting started, and today it was able to support the community to this extent.

"We are hugely grateful to our donors for sharing in our vision of making our region a better place, it is their generosity that enables us to give so much."

This year's distribution round reflected a more than 33 per cent increase in funds available for distribution.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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