The Sutherland Self Help Trust was conceived in 1941 by Arthur Sutherland, son of Ben Sutherland. The Sutherlands owned and managed New Zealand’s first major chain of grocery stores – the Self Help Co-op – and it was their wish to create a trust fund to further community welfare in New Zealand.

The Sutherland family donated property to form the capital for the Trust. After a period of 20 years the income generated by this capital was distributed to causes judged worthy by a Board of Trustees.

Patricia-McGavin-cutting-ribbon-with-John-Sutherland,-Jackie-Johnson-supporting,-Copeland-St-29Jan2013-030The board of trustees is made up of two Sutherland Family appointments, and one appointment each from the Law Society, Medical Council and The Institute of Chartered Accountants.

The first distribution was made in 1962. In that year $41,360 was distributed to 17 organisations. Since then over $25 million has been distributed with a present day value of over $70 million.

Today, the Sutherland Self Help Trust provides grants to community organisations throughout New Zealand. Its current policy specifies the areas of interest for each year.

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2018 Grant Policy

The Trustees of the Sutherland Self Help Trust Board advise that 2018 grant funding will be made to;

“community projects that are aiding communities to recover from the significant Kaikoura and Christchurch earthquakes, specifically those targeting the replacement and/or restoration of quake-damaged buildings.”

Organisations have been invited to apply for funding in these areas.

The impact of the Christchurch and Kaikoura quakes felt in suburban and surrounding regions was considerable.  When an entire community is affected by a natural disaster, a community’s vulnerable populations are affected disproportionately. Recovery post-disaster is also about resilience. Resilience takes many forms; emotional, physical and economic, but in general those who were most vulnerable before a natural disaster remain the most vulnerable in its aftermath.

Due to the ongoing desire to build resilient communities, The Sutherland Self Help Trust is continuing our focusing of funding in this area. Previously provided grants supporting organisations that provide services for post-traumatic stress disorder and emergency relief in Kaikoura.

To this end projects eligible for consideration for 2018 grants will focus on community buildings or related development to aid in the replacement or restoration of buildings damaged by the earthquakes.  

Organisations have been invited to apply. Our selections process has involved recommendations from community officials, with those organisations selected being asked to provide a single-page summary of their specific building project by 20th January.  

If the Trustees wish to proceed with the project they will ask the organisation to provide information on our official application form that should be submitted by 15th February 2018.  

Organisations selected by the Trustees for funding will be notified in late March 2018.

Projects eligible for consideration include those relating to the replacement and/or restoration of buildings. Grants will be made only to community organisations (not individuals) and are for use only in New Zealand. Due to the likely costly nature of the projects, we will focus funding a small number of significant projects for each organisation. Funding will be distributed from May 2018.

Organisations applying should provide an email address, postal address, physical address, charities registration number (if applicable), phone number and contact person.


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