This year’s Supreme Award Winner was Te Awakairangi Access Trust (TAKA Trust), which also took out the Education and Child/Youth Development category for the second year running.
The TAKA Trust focusses on ensuring all children in have access to opportunities, learning and experiences that will make a life-changing difference. The long-term aim is helping tamariki to realise their dreams and potential, and create positive changes for themselves and future generations.
TAKA Trust provides free tickets to sports fixtures, buses for excursions into Wellington, scholarships, donated technology, “magic cards” and access to the basic items needed like school bags and drink bottles.
Key projects TAKA Trust has continued in 2019 include:
- TAKA Wifi – ensuring tamariki in the northeastern suburbs have access to digital devices and community Wifi to enhance their learning and achievement
- Ride for Bikes – a charity ride with all proceeds going to buy more bikes for tamariki. So far 3 schools have received 27 bikes and helmets
- Symphony in the Hutt 2019 – with the success of the 2018 event TAKA Trust has decided to make this an annual event. In 2019 Annie Crummer was the headline artist. Leading up to the concert Annie visited schools to engage with the tamariki who had done research with their after-hours connectivity and put together a digital slideshow to present to her.
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says TAKA Trust was a deserving winner of the Supreme Award.
“TAKA Trust is making a real difference to the lives of our tamariki. Improving access and opportunities for our young people is crucial for their achievement and the future wellbeing of the entire city.”
Mayor Wallace congratulated all those nominated for awards this year, as well as recognising the importance and contribution of all community groups in Lower Hutt.
“The time and energy our community groups put into making our city a better place is so important. If we could count up the hours given by volunteers to our city each year, it would be phenomenal.
“Our volunteers make our community a better, brighter, more vibrant place in which to live. They are our local heroes.”
Category winners and runners-up:
Education & Child/Youth Development
Runner Up: YOUth Inspire
Winner: Te Awakairangi Access Trust (TAKA)
Arts and Culture
Runner Up: Pomare Taita Community Trust
Winner: Hutt City Brass Band
The Hutt City Brass Band was formed in 1993 and is currently ranked as the number two band in the Wellington Region. They provide the people of Lower Hutt with free access to their concerts so everybody can attend and enjoy their music with no barriers in the way.
Hutt City Brass Band aims to encourage and promote the playing of music for the recreation and entertainment of members of the public.
Along with entering regional and national competitions, the band entertains the crowds with free concerts at ANZAC Day services, community events and Christmas festivities.
Health & Wellbeing
Runner Up: Bellyful Hutt Valley
Winner: Common Unity Project Aotearoa Remakery
Reusable shopping bags, beeswax food wraps and coffee keep cups are becoming more common as we begin to think differently about how we can make sure our planet’s resources last for future generations. However this thinking is nothing new for the Remakery, an upcycle store and community space in Lower Hutt.
Many of the initiatives at the Remakery are leading by example, some of their projects to date include:
- The Common Grocer – a plastic-free grocery cooperative run by 340 members
- ReCycled Rides – which rescues, fixes up and loans out bikes, many of which would have ended up in landfill
- Sew Good Cooperative – turning old fabrics and textiles into brand new useful things
- Urban Kai Project – transforming backyards and school grounds across Hutt Valley into intensely productive gardens which have yielded 5.75 tonnes of fruit and vegetables in the last 18 months – some of this produce is then turned into meals for hungry children and local schools.
Heritage & Environment
Runner Up: Naenae Nature Trust
Winner: Friends of Baring Head Charitable Trust
Soon after Baring Head was purchased by the Greater Wellington Regional Council in 2010, several people who had been involved in the public campaign formed the Friends of Baring Head Charitable Trust. The Trust assists the council to manage the property, and supports and promotes protection, maintenance, enhancement and restoration of its values.
To date, volunteers have raised $385,000 towards the restoration of Baring Head and have put in more than 3,400 volunteers hours. This has resulted in restoring the pump-house, providing picnic areas for visitors, putting on events and providing information for those who visit, implementing a major Biodiversity Action Plan and beginning the restoration of the lighthouse keepers’ houses for visitor accommodation.
Sport and Leisure
Runner Up: Wellington Wind Surfing Association
Winner: Hutt Valley Riding for the Disabled
This organisation is about creating access for all by providing riding programmes for children and adults in the Hutt Valley with physical, emotional and social challenges. Hutt Valley Riding for the Disabled aims to foster increased ability, independence and self-esteem.
Volunteers make an important contribution to the development and improved quality of the lives of their participants. The riding sessions are designed to encourage the attainment of specific skills and abilities based on the rider’s needs, and each individual is working to achieve their own personal goals.
Volunteers also help to look after the horses with brushing and feeding and also helping to purchase new horses for the lessons as well as taking riders to local and regional Special Olympics Equestrian competitions.
Runner Up: Big Brother, Big Sister
Winner: Enliven Connect
Enliven Connect is a programme designed to help reduce social isolation and maintain connections with the community for those with early to mid-stage dementia and for elders who are experiencing social isolation in the Hutt Valley.
The programme matches an elder with a trained volunteer/buddy to support them in their activities with the aim of them retaining their sense of identity and increasing their quality of life.
The success of the programme is due to the volunteer buddies meeting the individual social needs of their community member and the flexibility to adapt to the person’s needs on the day.
Over the last 12 months Enliven Connect has seen its volunteer base grow and was recognised at the 2019 Presbyterian Support Central Quality and Innovations Awards – winning a special award being highly commended for Community Connection.