Recipients of first $1 million soon to be announced

Press Release – Vodafone

Media release – for immediate use Community recipients of first $1 million soon to be announcedMedia release – for immediate use
Community recipients of first $1 million soon to be announced

Two months after launching the Vodafone Foundation Canterbury Fund, a joint initiative between Vodafone and the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust, members of the Selection Committee are now tasked with selecting recipients for the first $1 million of the $4 million commitment to help rebuild Christchurch communities, places and services.

Vodafone Christchurch Recovery Director, Russell Hewitt says the Foundation received 291 applications with the successful applicants to be allocated their money before Christmas.

“The majority of the money released in December will be provided as small grants for youth and community organisations. These small grants are critical as this will make the biggest difference to the most people,” he says.

Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trustee, Dr Rod Carr agrees. “By matching Vodafone’s donations, the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust has ensured the best use of funds from both organisations,” says Dr Carr.

James Marsh, Vodafone New Zealand’s Chief Financial Officer and Chairman of the Canterbury Fund, is pleased with the response so far. “Receiving 291 applications in a four week period demonstrates the extent of the immediate need in Canterbury,” he says.

“Cantabrians have shown incredible strength and resilience and Vodafone is delighted to contribute through this Fund which we are sure will help make a positive difference to Christchurch youth and communities and go some way towards helping these organisations and Christchurch rebuild.”

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application before a public announcement of the successful applicants is made on 15 December. Further funding will be released in another funding round next year.

About the Fund

The Vodafone Foundation Canterbury Fund was established on 11 October as a joint initiative between Vodafone and the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust. The fund offers grants to charitable and not-for-profit organisations, and provides wage subsidies for small and medium sized businesses looking to grow.

Vodafone donated $2 million to the fund ($1 million from the Vodafone Group Foundation and $1 million from Vodafone New Zealand) and this was matched by the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust, bringing the total balance of the Canterbury Fund to $4 million.

The fund is split into two programmes: Small Grants and Business.

The Small Grants programme focuses on Youth and Communities, where grants of between $5,000 and $25,000 will be made available to distinct projects with clear outcomes that strengthen Christchurch communities; and Infrastructure where funding will be directed to infrastructure projects in Christchurch that strengthen communities including education, sport, recreation, and heritage and culture.

The Business programme is focused on small-to-medium enterprises (SME) through a partnership with Recover Canterbury. The December funding will be used to provide wage subsidy grants for businesses looking to take on a new employee, with a particular focus on youth. Businesses can apply for grants of up to $10,000 to contribute to salary payments over a six month period

Applications are being considered by a panel consisting of representatives of both Vodafone Foundation and the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust, along with two Christchurch-based youth sector specialists.

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