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Karen Woodhall and Ian Coatsworth hope Seagull Centre grants will make a difference. Photo: GORDON PREECE

Seagull Centre’s community grants take flight

A desire to support people who support them is the Seagull Centre’s intention for one of their returning initiatives.
The Thames resource recovery facility will roll out local community funding grants to allow individuals and organisations to turn their environmental project vision into a reality.
Chairperson Ian Coatsworth said ten grants worth $1000 each were part of Seagull Centre’s give-back policy.
“We support the customers who support us… and we decided quite some time ago we’d like to make tranches of community grants available, and we’ve had a few of them,” he said.
“We haven’t had one for two or three years because we were in a big dip in money… we are keen to do this one and we’re keen to do one next year.”
Individuals and organisations can apply for a grant if their projects create opportunities for locals to engage in local environmental issues or if they focus on community resilience through sustainable living practices, food security, education, or environmental kaitiakitanga (guardianship).
Ian said the last time Seagull Centre rolled out the grants, the projects were diverse, from building cycle tracks in the hills behind Thames, people going into the Seagull Centre to upcycle cloth into various things, and Steampunk’s art festival launch.
“Another tranche of money we gave away one year was to schools for composting so schools could use the money to build compost heaps and get the kids into composting.”
Ian said they also strongly encouraged youth to apply for a grant this year because it would be “really good” if youth could get involved in any environmental project.
Trustee Karen Woodhall told The Profile she was “very excited” to see what might come of the funding.
“It’s an open invitation… a lot of people are using their own cash to get their projects completed so instead of saying we want you to spend the money on tree planting or stream upgrades, we just say just tell us what you want to do,” she said.
“There’s no ‘I’ in Seagulls; we’re a combination of great staff, great management, and great governance.”
Ian said after individuals and organisations received their grants, Seagull Centre would like their projects to be completed by December so they could get a sense of how they’d used the money.
DETAILS: More information at: Grants must include: who you or your organisation are; your history, including what you’ve achieved; a description of your vision or project, including your contribution; and why you should be considered for a funding grant. Applications close May 15.