Marianne Korten is Waitaki's Community Recovery Coordinator. The role is a new one, established to answer a need brought about by Covid-19. Marianne has a background in not-for-profits and public health. Her role is twofold: funding and data collection. When it comes to funding, she is on the hunt for grants and opportunities for the wider community, especially in view of Covid and its effects. She is charged with seeking out funders, searching for and researching grants relevant to our region and eligibility. The second part of the role is collecting wellbeing data, using aspects of the community that fall under a larger umbrella of the four wellbeings: social, economic, environmental and cultural.
The Community Recovery Coordinator role sits within the framework of Safer Waitaki. Safer Waitaki is a whole-of-community project with a focus on community development and community safety. It was initiated as way of identifying and responding to key community priorities. Community Development Manager and Safer Waitaki Coordinator Helen Algar said that the Safer Waitaki Network has grown from a membership of 17 organisations to over 160. "This is a unique and effective mechanism for supporting community wellbeing. Having Marianne's role adds weight to the evidence base we need to work from which will enhance our ability to deliver in a coordinated and targeted way."
The Coalition network meets in working groups which encompass a wide range of sectors including mental health, addiction services, elderly and positive ageing… with the purpose of discovering what the needs of the community are. Marianne says sharing this data means, "I can compare it to the national outcomes, create a wellbeing tool and use it to check how we're doing. We have the big picture and the small picture and in the end it should be a kind of roadmap: we started here and got to here. Ideally, we are doing exactly what the community wants us to do, making a stronger district, and we all benefit from that."
Mayor Gary Kircher was supportive of the work, "District Councils are given the shared responsibility of improving the wellbeing of their residents. This is all about quality of life, filling the gaps which central government misses in our communities, and giving our people opportunities. The Waitaki District Council takes its role seriously, and also sees the very good opportunities to improve our district to the benefit of the community. We are also thankful to have Safer Waitaki as an organisation to partner with as we carry out our work."
A full list of the funding opportunities available as of this week can be found on the Safer Waitaki website: https://www.saferwaitaki.co.nz/funding
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