“The world has come to our town!” proclaimed Elizabeth Ashford, Trustee of Advance Ashburton Community Foundation.

“The last census in 2006 showed that 10% of Ashburtonians were born overseas, with a startling 37% arriving within the previous three years.  This trend has accelerated.  For example, the number of Filipino dairy workers has increased from 21 in 2006 to 200 in 2009.”

These newcomers came to Ashburton to work and to join family.  But settling into a new town and district isn’t easy, especially as many were facing a very different culture and language.  Agencies in the community were concerned about their well-being and helped establish a Newcomers Network.

Funds from The Tindall Foundation, through the Advance Ashburton Community Foundation, have helped pay for a Coordinator for the Network.  The Coordinator has raised the profile of the Network, provided information, and organised classes and events, such as craft and cooking classes, walking and playgroups. One of the most popular events is the Multi-Cultural Bite, where the rich cultural diversity in Mid-Canterbury is celebrated with food, dance and costume.

As a Community Foundation, it provides a simple and long-lasting way for individuals and families to help charitable causes in the Ashburton District.  Advance Ashburton acts as a Funding Manager for The Tindall Foundation in the Mid-Canterbury region in the Programme Area of Supporting Families and Social Services.

For more information contact: Elizabeth Ashford, Trustee

Advance Ashburton Community Foundation

Email: advanceashburton@farmside.co.nz

Website: www.advanceashburton.co.nz