Community organisations will be able to share an increased prize pool when entries for the Trustpower Community Awards open next month.
The Trustpower Community Awards recognise and reward the efforts of volunteers and first took place 25 years ago here in the Western Bay.
Trustpower Community and Communications Advisor Abbie Siely says reaching this milestone has inspired the company to adopt a fresh approach – increasing prize money and widening the celebration to include neighbouring districts.
“Over the past year, we've met with Councils, attendees, past and present winners, and the wider community to find out what people value most about the Trustpower Community Awards, and what they think we can do better.
“While it's clear that locals love the chance to celebrate the efforts of volunteers in their community, it's no surprise that for many community organisations finances are a constant concern. That's why we've increased the prize money available to Trustpower Community Awards recipients.
“This year, the prizemoney for a Trustpower Community Award will double to $1,000. Regional Supreme Winners will receive $2,000 – up from $1,500 last year – and a trip for two to the 2018 Trustpower National Community Awards.”
Abbie says the Trustpower National Community Awards bring together 25 Regional Supreme Winners from around New Zealand, had inspired another exciting change to the local awards.
“Every year, we're reminded of the benefits of brining likeminded people from around the country together to connect, collaborate and celebrate at the Trustpower National Community Awards.
“An idea that's changing lives in one district can be implemented to great effect in another. Often, groups are connected with the perfect person to help them bring an idea to life, or make a current initiative even better.
“Every group can have these same opportunities with their neighbouring districts. So this year, Tauranga City and Western Bay of Plenty District will celebrate their community spirit and the achievements of volunteers together at a shared event in Tauranga.
“Each district will have its own Supreme Winner and award recipients, but the ideas and inspiration will extend out into the wider region.”
She says host locations alternate each year and Trustpower provides transport for groups from neighbouring districts.
The Trustpower Community Awards are open to all community organisations with a voluntary component.
Recipients are recognised for services to the community in areas including, but not limited to: Heritage and Environment; Health and Wellbeing; Arts and Culture; Sport and Leisure; Education and Child/Youth Development.
Anyone can enter a group – groups can even enter themselves. Entries open March 5 and close on Thursday May 31. Enter online at trustpower.co.nz/communityawards