With the approval by Lotteries to provide Grant funding of 1.6m and the amazing support of our community, the Awatere ECE Hub is coming along in leaps and bounds and the build will soon be underway.
The existing building has been demolished and the site now awaits a brand new facility which will house our youngest community members.
It seems so long ago since the breakfast launch on 24th September 2019 when so many of the community came along to hear about the proposed project.
This project commenced back in 2017 where an extensive feasibility business study was completed, but it took some time to identify a model that the community could engage with and support.
In the middle of 2019 the Hub concept model where one building could be used to serve the multi-purpose needs of our young children was agreed to be the best option. The Trust launched the project at the breakfast with the birth of this wonderful community asset.
Following the breakfast launch, a focused work effort evolved finalising the conceptual design plans and developing a programme to fund the project. Smart Alliances was engaged to produce a set of detailed specifications incorporating all necessary consents and approvals.
The Finance Committee was established to manage the funding programme and to ensure that the Community is involved, up to date with progress and able to make a contribution to this long term community asset.
The project is driven by two arms; the first being to manage the development and build and the second to engage with the community and raise the funds necessary to complete the task. The build Project Manager worked with the architects and a number of other stakeholders to ensure that the building progresses smoothly, to plan and to budget.
The budget to complete the build was set at $2.1 million. Lotteries had given a grant of $246,000 to cover architects costs and to get ready for tender and we started working on a further application from them for the remaining funds. Other funds raised amounted to $200,000. This included cash, pledges and some funding from Rata Foundation.
Sponsors and supporters included Yealands who pledged significant support for the building focused on conservation and sustainability.
The Wine and Cheese evening at the end of February 2020 welcomed some new foundation members and born out of this event was ‘The Hub Club”, a pool of volunteers from our community who were willing to help out with our exciting fundraising schedule for 2020. Unfortunately Covid hit putting an end to our presence at the Flaxbourne A&P show and halting all our major fundraising activities. The ‘Pallet Run’ supported by Osgro continued as Alert levels allowed and we collected 39 pallets. With the uncertainty around when restrictions may lift, we were realistic in our goal of achieving financial targets by the end of 2020. Although unable to hold events, our focus never changed, we continued to go out to the community for funding, a give a little page was created for those who just wanted to give a small but valuable contribution.
In June we lodged an application into Lotteries, this crucial funding was the backbone for the whole project so anticipation was huge.
When we moved back into Level 1, the excitement and momentum we established earlier in the year returned, and we were looking forward to the next six months of activity.
We pushed the go button on our community events and all hands were on deck to organise the bakers and helpers for the Farmstrong Comedy Evening and also organising groups of people interested in attending the Marlborough Art and Wine Fair.
Over the year we had many committed sponsors and all these people were acknowledged with a morning tea and presentation on The Station Green in August. The progress board was erected on The Green prior to the presentation and attracted some attention from passers-by. Although the red worm looked a long way from the end, things were about to change with the much anticipated announcement from Lotteries.
Following these events, a very dedicated team organised and ran a very successful Charity Dinner and Auction evening in November. This was our biggest fundraising event and was hugely supported on the night raising a massive $30k.
REACHING OUR TARGET
The approval of 1.6m from Lotteries was huge but there is still a shortfall in funding. After months of hard work we now have together a comprehensive Investment Opportunity Document. The trustees of the Awatere Early Childhood Education Community Trust (The Trust) are offering an investment opportunity to individuals and businesses living and / or operating in the Marlborough district who share a long term vision that recognises the value of a connected, diverse and well supported community.
If you would like more information or wish/have an interest in supporting this amazing community project please contact Caroline Dick (finance@awatereecehub,com) or Neville White (firstname.lastname@example.org)