2023 Grants Evening – 27th June 2023
The Christchurch Casino gathered hundreds of recipients of the
Christchurch Casinos Charitable Community Trust
for an evening celebration at the Majestic Church.
This year Christchurch Casinos Charitable Community Trust is distributing $451,578
to community organisations from across Canterbury and the West Coast.
“We formed the Charitable Community Trust when the Casino first opened in 1994
with our original focus on harm reduction. However, with that baked in as an integral part of our business,
the scope has widened to include the greater community,” explains Brett Anderson, Christchurch Casino CEO.
Over the last three decades, the Trust has given away over $5.5 million dollars.
This year, 335 organisations will benefit from donations ranging from $200 to $15,000.
“Canterbury and the West Coast has some incredible organisations doing amazing things.
The service they perform is invaluable and the fact that so many of these services are provided
by volunteers is awe inspiring. Unfortunately, there is a lack of funding from other sources for
these core services. We know they are doing great work for the community with limited resources,
so we believe it is important for us to help support them,” says Brett.
The focus of this year’s grants are organisations catering to youth, the community,
and wellbeing. Schools and sports clubs were big beneficiaries this year.
With over 500 groups applying for funding, Brett Anderson, knew they wanted to have a bigger impact this year.
“We wanted to help a greater pool of recipients. In previous years, the Trust donated larger sums to fewer groups,
but this year, we’ve set a giving target of $200 – $15,000 to serve more people,” explains Brett.
The Christchurch Casinos Charitable Community Trust event,
in addition to a well-deserved celebration of great work,
also opens opportunities for networking and collaboration.
Since opening the pool of recipients to community organisations,
the Trust has been humbled by the quality and breadth of work being done for Cantabrians.
For many of the community groups, the funding provided by the trust means they can
save passing on the costs to the community. The Village Community Centre in Bryndwr
runs a series of community programmes for all ages. From music classes for pre-schoolers
to after school programmes and a foot clinic. The money from the Trust helps to cover their
operational costs so they don’t have to pass on those costs onto the participants.
A win-win for all.
For the Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust,
who must raise $6 million dollars a year to fund their essential services,
every little bit of money helps. The demand on their two helicopters is incredible
with the Air Rescue Trust performing 700-800 life-saving rescue missions each year.
Brackenridge, who support people with intellectual disabilities and autism live the life they want,
are using the funding to enhance the lives of the people in their community.
New sensory areas and communication devices are critical in helping the people they serve live their best lives.
One organisation, Aweko Kai, is helping vulnerable whānau not only reconnect with the whenua
but are also helping them to save money by teaching people how to plant, grow, and cook their own food.
Food sovereignty is a vital tool in improving mental health, wellbeing, and hauora.
Funds from the CCCCT, go towards incredible programmes like the one Aweko Kai
is running at Christchurch Women’s Prison.
Sports organisations featured prominently among the Trust’s 335 recipients.
One, Papuni Boxing Ōtautahi Academy is more than just a boxing gym.
They are a whanau-centred organisation who teach tamariki and rangatahi determination, focus, and hard work.
They are working to empower young people and give them a safe space to learn and grow.
GKR Karate believes Karate is for everyone. From fun to fitness, GKR Karate
aims to build a stronger mind and body. Support from the CCCCT will go towards accommodation
and travel costs for the 20 students going to Wellington for the national competition tournament in October.
The Christchurch Ballers Club Trust trains kids, primarily from the Filipino community,
in the favourite sport of the Philippines – Basketball. Money from the trust play an important
role in ensuring participation remains affordable for the community.
North Canterbury Riding for the Disabled, an all-volunteer organisation,
is putting the Trust’s support towards new equipment, like helmets, for their riders.
They offer therapeutic riding services to people with disabilities of all ages.
They have 40-50 riders but with a long wait-list, their services are in high demand.
Many of the organisations are run by volunteers, but one organisation is working
to support people becoming volunteers for life. Volunteering Canterbury not only helps find
volunteers for its some 300 member organisations, but it also trains people in volunteer management.
Money from the Trust will go towards training this year because the organisation knows if people
have a good volunteering experience, they will become volunteers for life. In the past year alone,
their volunteers worked more 600,000 hours to benefit over 300,000 Cantabrians.
See a full list of Christchurch Casinos Charitable Community Trust recipients below: