Grant Recipient Stories

Waikato Environment Centre


THE CHALLENGE: Approximately 30% of food produced in Aotearoa New Zealand ends up in the landfill. The Waikato
Food Rescue Feasibility Study completed in 2014 reported that Waikato food manufacturers and retailers sometimes dispose of food to landfill that is good enough to eat but not good enough to sell.

THE RESPONSE: The Waikato Environment Centre has developed a local food rescue programme – Kaivolution. Launched in October 2014, Kaivolution rescues good quality food from local food manufacturers, retailers and households that would otherwise go to waste. This rescued food is then redistributed to over 35 Waikato charities. In the first 6 months of the programme approximately 18,000 kilos of food has been rescued.

HOW THE WEL ENERGY TRUST FUNDING HAS HELPED: The WEL Energy Trust money is being utilised for the establishment of Kaivolution and for the programme’s operational costs. The coordination of Kaivolution volunteers and the smooth operation of food pick-ups and food sorting requires the employment of a part-time coordinator. The funding from the WEL Energy Trust makes this employment and the smooth operation of Kaivolution possible.

WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT IT: The feedback from the community has been very positive. The Hamilton Homeless Trust, an organisation that provides community meals for the homeless, said: “We’ve just finished distributing all the fruit and bakery items to our coordinators and a lot of the bread will be frozen. Not having to order as much bread this week makes a huge difference to the Trust and the work we are able to do. We are extremely grateful and can’t wait to see the look on the faces of our wha-nau when we get to share today’s bounty with them!”

WEL Energy Trust was pleased to collaborate with other local funders to help the Waikato Environment Centre establish this invaluable service for the Waikato.

PURPOSE: To contribute towards the development of a food rescue programme - Kaivolution
Multi-year funding approved over three years $75,000
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Here’s an organisation that has developed a commercially focussed social enterprise that fully embodies its “justice through service” mission.

Faced with the challenge of making the best use of its assets and funding to maximise their impact for work with some of our most vulnerable citizens, Anglican Action have developed a successful café where the first “profit” is always the people they work with, “Just Food Cafe” .

Alongside funding sustainability, the challenge was
to find employment or to offer employment training and experience to strengthen work readiness with the people they work alongside.

The vision was to develop a welcoming, open space for public and individuals to use, for celebrations
and evocative art installations, and for gathering conversation. “Just Food” speaks about ethical food and environmental justice, social justice for those on the margins, and a place to gather around hearty, fairly priced food.

WEL Energy Trust funding helped to provide a quality professional space for the venture to grow. Anglican Action has received great feedback and support about every part of this business – the café, the catering and the evening meal delivery.

WEL Energy Trust is proud to contribute to this sustainable social enterprise venture.

PURPOSE: To help fund a permanent, purpose built counter and other equipment and furniture for their social enterprise cafe.
Funding received $10,000
Creative Waikato


Here’s an organisation that really understands the value of the arts in our community.

Creative Waikato plays an essential role to strengthen, develop and invigorate the creative sector in the Waikato for the benefit of all.

“The arts help us define and express ourselves and engage with each other in our communities; they are also powerful levers for promoting positive social and economic outcomes.” says Sarah Nathan, CEO of Creative Waikato.

Creative Waikato do that by strengthening artists and groups with information, training and development initiatives, providing funding and promoting the work of the arts sector in the Waikato. They are also a strong voice for the arts locally, regionally and nationally, and provide a touch point to ensure our communities and artists are connected.

Creative Waikato considers their biggest asset to be their people.

WEL Energy’s support allows them to invest in the best people and to ensure they have the right resources to be effective.

As a result of Creative Waikato’s work the arts are becoming a much stronger component of Waikato’s regional profile. They have been able to support significant advancements and projects in the arts and ensured key arts issues have been heard and understood.

WEL Energy Trust is proud to support Creative Waikato as they work to change the landscape of the arts in the region.

PURPOSE: Contribution towards operating costs
2014 funding received $25,000


The Ngaruawahia Community House’s role within our community is to provide a facility that is a safe environment where whanau / individuals can access services, information and programmes. It is also a facility that helps connect the community in a holistic way.

Previously individuals / whanau had to travel to Hamilton or Huntly to access services, and for many transport was and is a huge issue.

WEL Energy Trust funding assists with operational costs as well as funding towards events held
annually for the community – Picnic @ the Point to commemorate Waitangi Day and Xmas @ the Point. Both of these events are family-focused and free to all in the community.

PURPOSE: Contribution towards wages, operating costs and community events
2014 funding received $15,000



Culture and creativity is at the heart of all our communities and plays a significant role in supporting community resilience, engagement and vibrancy.

This Ngaruawahia based organisation is not a traditional art centre; they were established in 2002 and describe their work as ‘a creative community development’ approach to support the community’s social and economic wellbeing.

This Centre is all about engaging with people at flax roots base. It is often described by locals as a safe oasis were everyone can feel safe to explore their creativity, and if you have ideas for new services and creative projects that benefit the locals, they will welcome them with open arms.

The belief is that collaboration is a key to great community outcomes and this creative approach adds significantly to the work of other service providers.

Expression of creativity is the ultimate form of therapy for personal wellbeing and many people from all walks of life take advantage of the services offered by the Centre. For many it is life changing and provides a new pathway to wellbeing and quality of life.

WEL Energy Trust makes a contribution towards
the operating costs of the Centre, which the Centre describes as vital to the ability of the organisation being able to undertake its creative community development work. This work is a relatively new concept and WEL Energy Trust understands the important contribution that the Centre makes to community wellbeing.

PURPOSE: Contribution towards operating costs
2014 funding received $10,000



In the heart of Enderley, Waikato Digital Youth Network’s Creative Studio offers free digital programmes to vulnerable youth in a highly under-served community.
Whilst at the Studio, youth gain creative technical skills and learn the art of “Creating with a Purpose”, as they collaborate with others and work in teams to solve complex problems.

Empowerment is a key philosophy underpinning
these services. Through their time at the Studio, the process of discovery, the mastery of technical skills and implementation of creative rules, members become a catalyst for social change.

WEL Energy Trust funding has enabled the Network to keep operating and doing this important work in Enderley in challenging times. Supporting the studio ensures the Waikato Digital Youth Network are able to continue to provide young people with the support they need to harness their skills and talents, as well as providing a safe place they know they can come to.

The impact can be felt in the Studio’s culture alone, where you will find vibrant youth who know the future is theirs for the taking and are not afraid to grab it! WEL Energy Trust is proud to support Enderley Creative Studio to continue to shift paradigms and ignite passion for a community to be proud of.

PURPOSE: Contribution towards operating costs and Office Manager salary
2014 funding received $9000



These words from a parent of an 8 year old girl with Cerebral Palsy with spastic quadriplegia show what a difference the RDA programme can make:
‘Parenting a child with a disability often has you watching them miss out on normal childhood activities. RDA returns some of that normal childhood back to their life. Our daughter has taken to riding a horse with a new type of confidence that we had not seen before. She now knows that there are physical activities she can be good at and this in turn has given her the confidence to try more. Off the back of this confidence she gained by going to RDA she has taken up swimming and is training to run a triathlon.’

Operating four mornings a week and catering for approximately 120 riders, the RDA Coach Manager sets individual goals for every rider to achieve positive outcomes as they improve motor skills, develop physically, increase confidence, empathy and communication skills and gain problem solving ability and awareness of consequences.
WEL Energy Trust has contributed to the operational costs of the programme and also towards covering their arena which has enabled the programme to run all year round. The latest grant received was towards the building of essential stables to ensure their main resource, the horses, are in top condition for their heavy work load.
There are a lot of people developing the skills which allow them to participate fully in life through RDA, and WEL is very happy to be part of that.

PURPOSE: Contribution towards new stables
2014 funding received $12,500


In July 2014, WEL Energy Trust loaned the Te Rongopai Community Trust $110,000 over five years to help complete the Good News Community Centre in Nawton.

Te Rongopai had been turned down by banks after raising $450,000 through personal pledges towards the $1 million project. The rest came from grants or donations of time and materials from local businesses.

WEL Energy Trust are thrilled to see the community centre up and running, knowing the Trust had played a small part in making it happen. In addition to the loan, WEL Energy Trust granted $35,000 to the project in 2011/12.

WEL Energy Trust implemented a community loans scheme in mid-2013 and approved its first loan in August that year. Since then a further three loans have been made, totalling $1.13 million. The existing loans support housing for people with disabilities, a youth centre and emergency housing.

The community loans scheme was established by WEL Energy Trustees to enable viable community projects to succeed faster. The loans can also be used to help organisations purchase critical assets and income-generating businesses with strong social benefit.

WEL Energy Trust will look at lending up to $500,000 over a maximum 10-year term. Loans can be made at any time and staff are always available to talk to groups about potential applications.


The founders of the CELF programme had a vision to build future Waikato leaders from all walks of life who can re-imagine wealth creation from a social, community, environmental, cultural and economic perspective.
CELF brings leaders from for-purpose and for-profit sectors into a nine month leadership journey. They engage in leadership development, networking, mentoring, and connecting with their community.
WEL Energy Trust’s contribution enabled CELF to sponsor four leaders from the for-purpose sector into the leadership programme. The Trust’s contribution, along with sponsorship from the business community, enabled CELF to provide company and community visits, speakers into the programme, future short courses for specific skill development, and to develop mentoring relationships with participants.

PURPOSE: Enhancing leadership potential in the Waikato Region
2015/16 funding received (from 2014/15 grants budget) $40,000


K’aute Pasifika is a Pacific Island Initiative, operating from a strong foundation of spiritual and cultural values, providing a comprehensive range of services to Pacific Peoples and disadvantaged groups.

Their vision is for dynamic, healthy, strong, educated, collaborative, sustainable Pacific Communities living to their full potential. K’aute Pasifika aspires to deliver quality services to improving health care, and homebased nursing services to support better care in the community.

Outcomes include:
• Increased socialisation–Day outing activities.
• Increased mobility and maintenance of healthy bones – Day outing activities.
• Increased manua ldexterity and coordination – Arts and crafts activities
• A sense of productivity whilst socialising – Arts and crafts activities.
• Maintenance of mental fitness and motor skills – Physical activities.
• Memory stimulation, problem solving and socialisation – Cognitive activities.

“We are now able to offer a range of a variety of stimulating and exciting activities, and the grant funding has enabled the resources to be purchased to support
a range of activities to improve the holistic wellbeing of Pacific Communities.”

PURPOSE: To purchase craft items for the elderly group to utilise in the weekly Elderly Day programme, and to support group outings
2015/16 funding received $4,000
Graeme Dingle Foundation


Graeme Dingle Foundation Waikato (formerly known as FYD Waikato) holds the vision that ‘every young person is connected and contributing to their community’.
Participants positively impact young lives by delivering quality, evidence-based year-long programmes in high-need areas of Hamilton and Huntly. ‘Kiwi Can’ is for primary school children and ‘Stars’ for youth.
Children who are raised in challenging circumstances are less likely to develop valuable life skills that will hold them in good stead through life’s challenges. Children receive a ‘Kiwi Can’ lesson every week of the school year during their time at primary school.
In ‘Kiwi Can’ lessons, participants explore themes designed to develop social, behavioural, moral, interpersonal, emotional, cognitive and civic competence. They learn to persevere, problem solve, set goals, make good choices, be accountable and to resolve conflict. They also develop leadership skills and understand about being a role model and fair play.

“I used to use my fists. Now I use my words.”
- Kiwi Can Kid

PURPOSE: Programme delivery and support
2015/16 funding received $22,500
Western Community Centre


The Western Community Centre exists to provide services that enhance and evolve to meet the physical, spiritual, social and emotional well-being of the people in the Hamilton West community.

The vision is to contribute towards building thriving, vibrant, healthy and self-reliant communities.

Since 1979 the centre has grown into a vibrant hub attracting many diverse groups of people with 5000-8000 visits being made each month. Each year over 70 unique services are offered - activities, events and programmes that contribute towards improving the quality of life for people.

Being immersed in the community, the centre is able to respond and act quickly to minimise and resolve community tensions and frustrations. Local solutions for local challenges! In 2015 the centre received funding to install a solar power system. In six months this system has produced over 10,000 kilowatt-hours and has contributed to cost savings of $2000.

PURPOSE: Community centre
2015/16 funding received $17,500
Swimming Waikato


Swimming Waikato works alongside 23 affiliated clubs to provide development opportunities to more than 2,400 members.

They understand that swimming is more than just a sport, it is a recreation activity for many New Zealanders, and it is important to us that our programmes help our community stay safe in the water.

“Funding from WEL Energy Trust allows us to focus our efforts on community delivery and developing innovative ways to engage children and their families in our sport. A recent example has been the development of our Swimming for Life Resources which are available for schools and clubs throughout the region and provide an effective and interactive plan for delivering lessons to young New Zealanders.”

PURPOSE: Salary support for Events and Administration support role
2015/16 funding received $15,000
SHAMA Women's Centre


Providing a safe and welcoming place for local ethnic women to go, meet others, learn new skills, and access services, information and social work support is just
a snapshot of the reason-for-being behind SHAMA Hamilton Ethnic Women’s Centre.
SHAMA works to empower ethnic women so they can integrate into New Zealand and raise safe and successful families and communities, motivating them to exercise their rights and responsibilities, live a life of dignity, free from fear of violence and be recognised as valuable members of the community.
The feedback has been very positive. More than 65 women came to SHAMA classes during 2015 while their social workers supported 129 clients.
“The funding from WEL Energy Trust has been essential to keep our centre’s doors open where ethnic women find support and friendship, celebrate our achievements, deliver Life Skill classes, domestic violence and positive relationship workshops, and provide social work support to our clients while maintaining a solid team working for our community.” Silvana Erenchun - SHAMA Manager

PURPOSE: Contribution to operating costs
2015/16 funding received $22,500

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