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Source: Auckland Council

Waitematā Local Board has just given $45,500 in grant funding to community groups and local initiatives across its local board area.

Projects supported benefit the local environment, climate change reduction, homeless and marginalised communities, youth, older adults, and several diverse community-led events and activities.

An organisation providing a range of support for older Chinese adults has received $4500 towards their programme run out of the Ellen Melville Centre in the city centre.

Lily Yao, President of the New Zealand Chinese Support and Caring Group, says the volunteer-run organisation provides a bridge for older New Zealand Chinese to integrate into their local community.

Ms. Yao says when the group first started in 2016, they were visiting Chinese seniors who were alone, to cut their hair, mend their clothes, take them to medical appointments, grocery shopping or on outings, providing both companionship and practical support.

Now the group is up and running across Tāmaki Makaurau and is helping Chinese seniors more formally with advice on accessing government and local services, counselling and well-being support, assisting with overcoming language barriers, and providing activities like singing, dancing and fitness classes.

“Our motto is to ‘cuddle in a group, keep warm and enjoy our lives’,” says Ms Yao.

“We want to help elderly Chinese solve the difficulties of life, reduce their sense of loneliness, be a part of their surrounding community and to enjoy the beauty of New Zealand.”

Waitematā Local Board Chair Richard Northey says the New Zealand Chinese Support and Caring Group is helping to fill both language and culture and also practical service gaps for older Chinese adults.

“Connected communities is one of our board’s priorities [PDF]. We want everyone who lives in Waitematā to feel safe, be connected, and have a place to call home.

“The board was very pleased to provide support for the New Zealand Chinese Support and Caring Group to carry out their work, which is making a very real difference for Chinese seniors living in our local board area.”

Find out more about the New Zealand Chinese Support and Caring Groupat

Find out more about te Waitematā Local Board and their community grants at