Community groups which apply for assistance from the Waikato Community Funders Group should know within a maximum three days if they have been successful.

Last week Hamilton City Council announced it would contribute $1 million to the new fund set up to support essential city welfare services for at-risk people in response to Covid-19.

Support would be targeted to direct action, non-profit organisations that supply essential food and other goods, accommodation, support for those in unsafe situations and provide services to people with disabilities.

At today's Hamilton City Council meeting, elected members were told community funders and Council had aligned their funding criteria and were moving quickly to get money – fast – to where it was most needed.

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Community and social development manager Andy Mannering said 21 applications had been made to the combined $3.25 million fund so far, most in relation to emergency food.

An online meeting of the various funders collaborating to support non-profit organisations working on the frontline to help vulnerable people affected by Covid-19. Photo / Supplied
An online meeting of the various funders collaborating to support non-profit organisations working on the frontline to help vulnerable people affected by Covid-19. Photo / Supplied

The fund includes $1 million from the Hamilton City Council, $1 million from WEL Energy Trust, $100,000 from the Len Reynolds Trust, $100,000 from DV Bryant Trust, $25,000 from the Gallagher Foundation, and $25,000 from the Tindall Foundation to Community Waikato.

This is in addition to the $1 million from Trust Waikato announced last Wednesday.

"It is crucial that we work together to ensure support urgently reaches those who need it the most," says Raewyn Jones, Chief Executive of WEL Energy Trust.

"Through combining our efforts, it is hoped that every dollar will effectively and directly fund those working on the frontline of Covid-19 support," says Melissa Gibson, CEO of the Len Reynolds Trust

As of today, nine applications had been received from Hamilton-based organisations.

In total, already $440,000 from the fund has already been allocated, he said. Trust Waikato is receiving and processing all applications on behalf of the wider funding group.

The council today appointed the chair of the Community Committee councillor Mark Bunting and deputy chair councillor Kesh Naidoo-Rauf to work alongside Mr Mannering to overview and approve distribution of the Council's $1 million contribution.

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HCC Community Committee chair councillor Mark Bunting and deputy chair councillor Kesh Naidoo-Rauf will oversee and approve distribution of the council's $1 million contribution. Photo / File
HCC Community Committee chair councillor Mark Bunting and deputy chair councillor Kesh Naidoo-Rauf will oversee and approve distribution of the council's $1 million contribution. Photo / File

Mayor Paula Southgate said she was mindful the landscape for welfare services was changing rapidly as central government also responded to urgent need across the country.

"The council's money is very clearly targeted at organisations which support at-risk people in Hamilton who cannot access support in other ways," she said.

"We want to make it as easy as we can for our incredible community groups to do what they do best.

"We're all looking for a robust, but streamlined process so we can get the support to where it is most needed, quickly."

The Waikato funders are also working together to share information about what different groups are doing across the region.

"This streamlined coordination enables us to quickly approve funding and get the money to where it is needed as soon as possible", says Dennis Turton, Chief Executive of Trust Waikato.

The Waikato Community Funders Group takes a collaborative approach to funding opportunities across the Waikato and includes the Brian Perry Foundation, Braemar Charitable Trust, The Department of Internal Affairs, DV Bryant Trust, Gallagher Foundation, Len Reynolds Trust, Momentum Waikato, Trust Waikato, WEL Energy Trust, Hamilton City Council and Waikato Regional Council.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website