Fifty-four groups have each received up to $1000 towards their activities from the quarterly mental wellbeing funding.

The Te Hau Toka Southern Lakes Wellbeing Group funded several local initiatives across the Upper Clutha and Central Otago regions.

Recipients included the Albert Town Community Association’s Christmas party in the park; Age Concern’s brain health seminar for over 65s; Cromwell Community House’s Christmas barbecue for vulnerable older residents; YAMI SouNZ Summit’s bi-annual music summit ; MINT Trust’s music therapy workshop for people with intellectual disabilities; and Latinos in Wanaka for its wellbeing day for Latino residents.

Kahu Youth Trust manager Anna Sutherland said the funding would go towards a welcome event at the new youth space at the Lake Hawea Community Centre on December 9.

‘‘It’s a great way to bring the community together, build connections and create a sense of belonging for rangatahi.

‘‘They can also meet our youth development workers and start building trust, knowing that these are safe adults who they can go to for support through life challenges.

‘‘We’ll also be sharing information about the new dropin service at Hawea and our mentoring and youth development programmes.’’

Te Hau Toka Southern Lakes Wellbeing Group chairwoman Adell Cox said she was delighted to see more fresh ideas in the final funding round for the year.

‘‘It’s wonderful to see different cultures focusing on how they can bring their communities together and support each other in a way that works uniquely for them.’’

The Connecting Communities fund was introduced by Te Hau Toka a year ago as part of its efforts to combat the ongoing negative effects of Covid-19.

Nearly $180,000 was given to 185 recipients in the four funding rounds this year.