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The trust was “really proud” and “really buzzing" after receiving its award. Photo: BARKER PHOTOGRAPHY

Rural support recognised at awards

“Buzzing” was how the Waikato Hauraki Coromandel Rural Support Trust felt after winning an award for its community contribution efforts.
The trust won the community contribution non-commercial award at the Waikato Chamber of Commerce Business Awards on November 4.
Chairperson Neil Bateup told The Profile the trust was “really proud” and “really buzzing” to gain top prize in its category after being made a finalist in the not for profit category at the 2021 awards.
“We were encouraged to have another go from what we had learned in the first entry and we put those in place and it helped to strengthen our team,” he said.
“[The award is] a recognition of the fact we’re a small organisation, there’s a huge amount of voluntary work that goes into it and we’re filling a need in the community that no one else is filling.”
The community contribution category recognised an organisation whose ongoing work or projects had resulted in outcomes to the community that were visionary, high impact, transformative, and embodied the qualities of excellence contribution.
Neil said the project the trust had cultivated which led to its award win was a new system to support its team of three managers, seven trustees and 42 voluntary facilitators.
“We’ve put in place a computer programme to support the team and it holds policies, procedures, data and training resources… and it’s been rolled out to all the Rural Support Trusts around the country.
“We were probably light on the ground in some of the management and administration areas and probably at risk if someone was ill or out of commision for a period of time so we’ve strengthened that up so we’re able to cope if any adverse event happens.”
Neil said the adverse events the trust had previously dealt with to support farmers through their recovery included droughts, floods, storms, and Covid-19.
“We have an 0800 helpline and website access for people who have difficulties either in their personal life or their business life,” he said.
“We can meet with them and plan a way forward.”
Neil said the trust was also focused on holding community events for the rural sector.
“Farmers are often on their own on farms and don’t meet up with people a lot of the time, so we’re involved with the Surfing for Farmers programme and Rural Riders.
“We also run events with the likes of [Sir] John Kirwan and Tawera Nikau as speakers and sometimes just barbeques to get people together and off their farms.”
DETAILS: To contact the Waikato Hauraki Coromandel Rural Support Trust, Ph: 0800 787 254