A building that once honoured the families of Te Puke’s past will be given a new lease of life as a venue for the town’s youth - and the community is being invited to lend a financial hand.
The old Te Puke RSA on Oxford Street will be leased by the Vector Group Charitable Trust as a creative space for the town’s youth.
The RSA merged with the Citizens Club last year after 40 years on the premises.
The trust was previously using donated business premises in Jellicoe Street called ‘The Loft’, but was given notice recently and was looking for a new home.
The lease will cost the trust $45,000 a year - money they hope to raise via a Givealittle page and a sponsorship project involving the sale of bricks in the supporting pillars of the Oxford Street building.
Sponsors are invited to buy the bricks, which will be sign-written with the individual/company’s details. They will also receive other benefits, including a mention in show reels produced by one of the trust’s initiatives, Te Puke Film.
Other initiatives launched by the trust include the Te Puke High School pop-up ball and beauty shop, the online Te Puke Directory www.tepukedirectory.co.nz and online magazine tepukemag https://www.vectorgroup.org.nz/tepukemag/
Trust managing director Stephen Fawcett says the former RSA has a long history of community use and Vector Group is pleased to carry on that tradition.
“We will build on the foundation of honouring the families of our past by creating a collaborative future that includes the people who represent the future; ourselves, our children and our children’s children,” says Stephen.
The trust, however, needs the community’s help to make it happen.
“We have dared to dream big because we know there are many kind-hearted benefactors out there who will be pleased to see us succeed in our vision for the use of the beautiful old Te Puke building.
“We have been searching for a home for a couple of years now, moving from building to building, but can proudly say we have now found our forever home right in the centre of town.”
Stephen says the new building is purpose-built for all the trust’s needs, with a commercial kitchen and a dance floor with sound equipment and a stage to run community events.
“There’s nothing really available for community groups like that, so we thought if we get it we can have events and people can use it.”
With the youth space no longer housed in an actual loft, the trust is also welcoming suggestions for a new name.
To donate online visit: givealittle.co.nz/cause/goodnessgrowshere or make a bank deposit to: Vector Group, account number 03-1330-0031832-000 with your name or koha if you want to remain anonymous.
For more information about the work of the trust and sponsorship phone Stephen on: 027 414 4280.