Central Otago organisations were among those named as the first recipients of the Otago Community Trust’s new Tamariki & Rangatahi Capability Fund earlier this month.

In Alexandra, Sticks ’n Stones received $10,000 to develop an evaluation framework, Journeys Charitable Trust got $2255 for strategic plan redevelopment and Puna Rangatahi Alexandra and Districts Youth Trust was granted $1083 towards training its youth coaches.

Kahu Youth Trust in Wanaka was granted $7406 for training and development of its youth workers.

The Tamariki & Rangatahi Capability Fund is a part of the trust’s funding suite to support its new dedicated tamariki and rangatahi strategy.

Trust chief executive Barbara Bridger said the fund was designed to strengthen the tamariki and rangatahi (children and young people) sector, providing additional funding to organisations to specifically invest in capability development.

‘‘When we talk about capability development, we are referring to investment in a range of areas which can include professional development, policy reviews, strategic planning activities, enhancing evaluation frameworks and in some instances cultural capability development.’’

Otago Community Trust community engagement adviser Liz Harburg oversees the new fund and said the applicants who received funding were all passionate about building the skills and abilities of youth-focused organisations in Otago, but many faced challenges at a governance level, such as succession and long-term strategic planning.

‘‘Excitingly, some applications were focused on enhancing the skills of young people to allow them to play a greater role within the leadership and governance of their community organisation,’’ she said.

Fifteen applicants applied to the newly established contestable fund and 14 applicants were successful. One application was withdrawn as it did not fit the criteria, Ms Harburg said. Applications were decided on at the trust’s October board meeting.

Megan Longman from Journeys Charitable Trust said the $2255 grant for Journeys was ideal timing.

Journeys was founded in 2020 with the purpose of empowering girls through adventure in local wild places.

‘‘Due to the growth and evolution of Journeys we are now preparing to review and redevelop our strategic plan to ensure it is relevant for the next three to five years.

‘‘Having the ability to work with an external facilitator for this process will both grow our own governance capability and ensure our strategic plan to guide the coming years’ operations will be high quality and fit for purpose. This will enhance our long-term sustainability and enable Journeys to best support the evolving needs of girls and women in Central Otago.’’