Keith Street School is set to get a whole new playground after a grant of more than $25,000 from the trust that operates gambling machines across Whanganui.
Whanganui organisations and community groups have been announced to receive hundreds of thousands in funding from the New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) this month.
The NZCT operates gambling machines at six Whanganui bars and restaurants.
The net proceeds from those machines are redistributed to the community, focusing on charitable, philanthropic, cultural or sporting causes.
Over $250,000 in grants were given out in Whanganui for November.
Keith Street School saw one of the most significant grants, receiving $26,780 to go towards a new playground.
Principal Linda Ireton said the school board started looking into a new playground last year as its current one didn’t meet health and safety standards.
“It would have taken a few thousand dollars to fix, and that was only to pass the Level 2 inspection. It may not have passed the Level 3 inspection.
“That is when we started our investigation.”
Ireton said Keith St students completed an inquiry into the type of playground they wanted by visiting a range of playgrounds across Whanganui.
“So they could get an idea of what was fun but also being mindful to ensure the playground was inclusive to everyone and their abilities.”
Kids needed to have fun, but also take safe risks, Ireton said.
“To extend their physical abilities in a way they are having fun but also, developmentally, it is really supporting them.
“We’ve been quite careful with what we have chosen and to have equipment that our kids with special education needs can also have fun with and get use out of.”
Ireton said the playground will be completed in early 2022 and she was thankful to NZCT for the funding.
“We are just so grateful. Playgrounds are not something the Ministry of Education fund. It is up to school boards to fundraise. So we are super-grateful to NZCT and the other grants we have received.”
Several sporting groups and organisations were among the other recipients of NZCT funding.
Community House Whanganui and Youth Services received $5,000 each for salaries.
Whanganui Creative Space and Alzheimer’s Whanganui received $3,000 and $6,000 respectively for salaries.
Robert Bartley Foundation received $15,000 and Tennis Whanganui received $25,000 for contractors.
The Wanganui City Football Club was awarded just over $2,000 for equipment and uniforms, Wanganui United Cricket Club was given $13,100 for uniforms and equipment and the Wanganui Water Ski Club received $11,000 for a new computer system.
The Wanganui Enterprises Trust also received $11,700 for equipment.