A local building in serious need of a makeover has been given just that thanks to Rotorua's rotary clubs.

When the combined Rotary Clubs of Rotorua Charitable Trust received an appeal to help provide funding for a facelift of the St Chads Centre, it jumped in whole-heartedly.

The St Chads Centre is the base for a community of people with intellectual disabilities, with the aim of developing their independence, choice and meaningful community participation.

Nine full-time equivalent positions help manager Nicky Mayne, and each month 200 to 300 volunteer hours are delivered by approved members of the Rotorua community to nearly 70 adults aged 16 to 64.

While the Government provides just over half of the operating costs of the organisation, the remainder of funding comes from the generosity of the community by way of grants, partnerships, donations and social enterprise.

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Recently, St Chads realised a whole lot of painting was needed both inside and outside of their beloved old building – and its subsequent additions – but its pocketbook did not stretch far enough to cover the related costs.

St Chads received a generous grant from the combined Rotary Clubs of Rotorua Charitable Trust from money raised through the trust's annual Charitable Luncheon to paint the buildings.

Rachel McRae from Rotary Club of Rotorua Sunrise (left) with St Chads member Peter Knox, St Chads manager Nicky Mayne, members John Harvey, Carl Smith, and Madison Edwards. Photo/Ben Fraser
Rachel McRae from Rotary Club of Rotorua Sunrise (left) with St Chads member Peter Knox, St Chads manager Nicky Mayne, members John Harvey, Carl Smith, and Madison Edwards. Photo/Ben Fraser

The Rotary Club of Rotorua Sunrise, which has had a long association with St Chads, then offered to provide the labour to paint the exterior of the buildings, as the grant was not sufficient to cover the cost of a full repaint.

Nicky says it is always difficult for a not-for-profit organisation to do things they need to do, especially with buildings - "they end up at the bottom of the heap".

"Rotary putting up their hand to help us do this is like winning Lotto. We so appreciate it.

"We couldn't do it without the help of people in the community."

She says the finished job is lovely and she thinks the environment has so much play in how people act and feel.

"It's not just a life for the building, but a lift for all of the St Chads community."

The insurance cover provided by Rotary District 9930 for projects of this nature was also utilised.

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Tony Payne, owner of The Renovators Painters & Decorators Ltd, provided his professional advice at no cost, as well as a significant amount of equipment.

The building's exterior was washed free of charge by Sunrise Rotary Club member Roger Hall, owner of Chemwash in Rotorua.

Scaffolding was required for some of the building's higher faces, and this was donated by Euro Scaffold Solutions Rotorua.

It took Sunrise Rotary Club members about 500 hours over the weekends in September and October 2017 to apply about 120l of paint to St Chads and complete stage one.

Stage two was a smaller job, requiring about 120 hours of labour, and the buildings next door to the main site was also completed, after work was undertaken in February and March 2018.

Rotary Club of Rotorua Sunrise community director Rachel McRae says it was a huge project which was a big team effort.

"It was a huge improvement to the building. It felt awesome to be able to do something for the community."