Joan Chappell-Mathias

Joan Chappell-Mathias

The Acorn Foundation will this week distribute a total of $776,000 to 96 charities and community groups across the Western Bay and beyond – an increase of $200,000 over last year.

Acorn General Manager Nicky Wilkins says, “It’s amazing to think that ten years ago we were really only just getting started, and today we are able to support the community to this extent. The really exciting thing is that it’s only going to continue to grow from here, because we don’t spend the capital when people donate through Acorn, it’s just the interest that is distributed, and we have new donors coming on board all the time.”

Acorn’s ability to support the community all comes down to its donors – people who care about their community and want to do something that will provide for the current and future needs of our region.

Nicky says, “We have some truly inspiring stories of people wanting to make a difference. Joan Chappell-Mathias had an illustrious career as a psychiatrist, prison doctor and psychotherapist, helping people who were struggling after being abused as children. Her legacy through Acorn will provide around $120,000 every year now, to support our local community – continuing her own lifetime of care and support.”

“We are also making distributions for the first time this year on behalf of Jeffrey Friis, a much-loved Katikati GP who put so much into his community throughout the 30 years he lived and practiced there. Now the causes that he was passionate about will benefit from his generosity every year, including the Parkinson’s Society, St John Katikati, and the preservation of local flora and fauna.”

The Acorn Foundation has used the results of its Vital Signs survey, undertaken in 2015, to prioritise where the distributions go. This year, the focus areas include building strong communities, supporting children and young people to get the best possible start in life, reducing domestic violence, and reducing social inequalities.