Despite putting out a call for help to the Nelson community over a month ago, the Victory Community Centre is still in need of financial assistance to help it get through a tough time.
The centre, which is the hub of the Victory community, needs $60,000 before the end of January to keep it afloat, but so far they have only managed to raise just over $6000.
Director Kindra Douglas says, despite all their success and awards over the last eight years, some key funding cycles have changed and their already-limited government funding has also reduced.
Previously, the centre has applied to funding bodies such as a Rata Foundation and the Lottery Grants Board early in the year and then received funds at the end of the year.
But with a move to online systems with different closing dates for grants, the centre has been put in a tough spot.
Kindra says they could hear back from some of them by February, but it could be later.
“We’re running really tight, and it’s not easy,” she says.
“We already run on a really lean staff which only includes four full timers, and when we get 42,000 people through the centre every year – that’s a big effort.”
Since the centre opened in 2007, it has been a base for many people in Nelson – not just Victory residents – offering recreational, social, physical activity, cultural support and services for health and well-being. It is also used by midwives, Plunket, social workers and playgroups.
“We are putting a call out to the community to help us,” says Kindra. “How does an award-winning community struggle so much? People think that because we’re here, the problems have gone away – but that’s not true. We hope we have contributed to lifting the platform in the community, but we want to keep doing that. There are people who are really struggling to stay afloat.”
Kindra also says that it’s not just about the money – it’s also about getting more people on board to help out in other ways, whether it’s helping to make cups of tea or helping out on a newly-formed fund-raising team which Kindra is also looking for people to join.
“We rely on all these helpers, and our aim is to create a long-term fundraising team to organise some regular events. We’ve got some really good ideas.”
In the meantime, Kindra says they will get through, no matter what. “We’re not going to close – it’s not an option. We’ll just have to find the resources.”
To help the Victory Community Centre visit www.victorycommunitycentre.co.nz