Playground funding complete

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It’t been a big week for the Gore Kids Hub Trust – three trustees received a Kiwibank award and the last of the funding required to finish the public playground has been granted.

Along with being responsible for building the hub, which houses the Gore Playcentre, Gore Parents Centre and Gore Toy Library, the trust is responsible for construction of the $350,000 public playground.

The trust had to raise about $34,500 to finish the playground project but an application to the Lottery Facilities Fund was successful, meaning the whole project could be completed debt-free, trustee Bronnie Grant said.

The Gore Kids Hub Trust was formed in August 2014 and the hub project started in March 2015.

The trust held 28 fundraisers over three years to fund the $1.8million project, Mrs Grant said.

Grants and sponsorship from businesses and groups also played a big part in reaching funding targets.

Now the building phase was completed, trustees would focus on ensuring the sustainability of the hub and growing the brand.

While the hub had sufficient tenants, trustees were keen to attract one-off events, trustee Shelley Lithgow said.

She was excited the funding phase was completed, she and fellow trustees having lived and breathed the project for about three and a-half years, she said.

“I can’t wait to see kids out enjoying the playground.”

Mrs Grant, Mrs Lithgow and fellow trustee Bernadette Hunt jointly received a Kiwibank Local Hero Award earlier this week.

The awards were presented at a ceremony at the Civic Theatre in Invercargill.

“We didn’t know who nominated us – we didn’t know that we had been nominated,” Mrs Grant said.

She was alerted to the nomination when a friend texted her to congratulate her on it.

The three women were supported by other trust members and family at the awards.

“We were the only group one [award].”

They were extremely appreciative of the accolade, she said.