6 December 2013

Children still struggling post-earthquakes are to benefit from $1.5 million Appeal Trust grant

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust is granting $1.5 million for social service providers to help increasing numbers of children, young people and their families still struggling psychosocially to recover from the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Experienced and established social service providers in Canterbury – including Barnardos, Early Start, Family Help Trust, Methodist Mission, Presbyterian Support and Wellbeing North Canterbury Community Trust - will receive the funds to address their growing waiting lists of families seeking help to deal with children struggling with long term stress, behavioural and emotional issues as a result of the earthquakes.

“Nearly three years after the 2011 earthquakes, social service providers advise Trustees that there is a growing need to help address increasing numbers of children, young people and their families with psychosocial needs emerging since the earthquakes,” says Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trustee Dr Rod Carr.  “We have targeted our support at a range of providers who have the capability to expand their services for the next two years to meet these needs.”

The negative impacts of earthquake-related stress for children and young people include: separation anxiety from parents/caregivers; sleep deprivation; fear of being alone; struggling to make and maintain friendships; and, decreased concentration in the classroom. This funding will enable providers to directly target these wellbeing issues, supporting young people seeking mental health services and parents who are struggling to cope with additional pressures and demands.

As well as the $1.5 million provided by the Appeal Trust this year, last year it funded $900,000 to support four major social service providers (Age Concern, Anglican City Mission, Methodist Mission and Presbyterian Support) to quickly deliver more support to people of all ages experiencing hardship as a result of the earthquakes. 

Other projects funded with Appeal funds to date include: community centres for Aranui, Mt Pleasant, Belfast and Opawa; supporting Canterbury’s 200 youth workers; support to women’s refuges to meet increased demand; repair and rebuild of Plunket facilities; neighbourhood events to foster community connectedness; St John emergency equipment; restoration of the Arts Centre; $15 million “Connecting the City to the Sea” through eastern Christchurch; the Re:START mall; and, repairing sports fields and netball/tennis courts.

A full list of projects funded by the Appeal Trust is available here