As part of its second funding round for 2017, the Mazda Foundation has helped fund specialised trikes, native shrubs and life changing surgery for a young Blenheim girl.
More than $55,000 has been distributed to 27 community groups, charities and individuals this round, including The Cerebral Palsy Society of NZ that received $5,727 to purchase two trikes for their getOnYourTrike programme.
The programme gives children with cerebral palsy the chance to have access to a customised trike. This allows them to exercise, increases their mobility and most importantly, gives them independence.
Sarah Rodgers, fundraising and grants manager, said the programme has recently grown in popularity and the demand means they now have a waiting list for the specialised trikes.
“We have over a dozen children waiting for a trike of their own and thanks to the Mazda Foundation and other generous funders we will be able to increase our stock and significantly reduce the waiting list.
The getOnYourTrike programme enables children who aren’t able to use a standard trike or bike the same experience, and we regularly hear from parents about the social and physical health benefits they see in their kids.”
Six-year-old Georgina Allen and her family have received $2,000 towards life changing surgery in the US that will dramatically improve her quality of life. Georgina suffers from a rare form of cerebral palsy called spastic diplegia and the surgery will help to treat the highly “spastic” nerves in her spine.
Her mother, Siobhan Allen, says Georgina is becoming increasingly aware of her disability as she gets older and this surgery will help her lead a more normal life.
“She knows there’s a difference between herself and the other kids at school, and tells us they’re ‘too fast’ and run away from her. So as parents we are dedicated to exploring all options we have available to give her a normal life.”
The surgery Georgina needs is not available in New Zealand so the family is traveling to St Louis Children’s Hospital where Georgina will undergo two major surgeries.
“We are actively fundraising to cover the surgeries along with the travel and expenses involved and we are hugely grateful to the Mazda Foundation and everyone else who has donated to Georgie so far.”
Up north, the Save the Kereru project at The Northland Golf Club has received $9,852.55 to plant native plants and shrubs around the golf course. The project aims to encourage the Kereru, New Zealand’s native wood pigeon, back into the area.
Collen Atchison, board member, says the club would love to see a number of these beautiful birds return to the tree tops surrounding the course.
“Wearing our club shirts with the bird as our symbol, has had less meaning of late due to the notable decline in the number of birds in the area.
“We are passionate about the bush management project that will not only entice the birds back but also help control pests and weeds in the bush.”
Each year the Mazda Foundation hosts three funding rounds to help Kiwis in need, having gifted over $2.6 million back to the community since its inception in 2005.
David Hodge, Managing Director of Mazda New Zealand and Chairman of the Mazda Foundation, says Mazda are excited to see how this round of grants will help the organisations and individuals who have received them.
“We are glad to be able to make a difference whether it be for things like, the purchase of trikes for kids with cerebral palsy or impacting the lives of people like Georgina and the team at the Northland Golf Club.”
“There are many similar groups and individuals across the country doing great work in their communities that need funding and I’m proud that the Mazda Foundation can help them make a difference. The initiative allows us to reach out and support those that need it the most” he says.
The Mazda Foundation is funded through a contribution from the sale of every new Mazda in New Zealand.
The closing date for the next round of Mazda Foundation applications is 30 September 2017. For more information or to download an application form, visit www.mazdafoundation.org.nz