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From today communities will be able to apply for $12.5 million of grant funding for the projects and organisations that matter to them most says Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Alfred Ngaro.

The Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS) opens today.

“The COGS funding is unique in that it’s decided on and distributed by local distribution committees. That means we have locals deciding what matters most to them and what will have the most impact on their own communities,” says Mr Ngaro.

The 37 local COGS committees will make decisions on what projects, events and organisations will receive funding by 28 July 2017 at the latest.

Last year 4,223 organisations received funding under the scheme. Some of the recipients included:

$3,000 to Sumner Senior Citizens for bus trips and speakers to provide opportunities for the seniors in Sumner to get out and about and socialize. $2,450 to Sailability Hawkes Bay Trust which helps people with disabilities to build confidence in themselves while learning to sail. The fund helped pay for storage and maintenance of the boats. $3,000 to Access Radio Wairarapa which provides broadcasting services to the local community. Roughly 40 groups use the service and programmes reflect the diversity of the community. $14,645 to King Street Artworks which provides free art workshops and encourages mental health.

More information can be found on www.communitymatters.govt.nz or 0800 824 824.

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