Wesley Community Centre

Giblin Group was approached by the Hastings Wesley Methodist Church over a year ago. The Church had a vision for its role in the community, but this was hampered by the current hall facility which has numerous physical issues. The Church had considered what, in an ideal world, it could do in a modern and fit-for-purpose building.

Built in 1953, the community hall hasn’t undergone significant maintenance for many years. As a result, it has fallen into disrepair. The cost of repair is estimated to be extensive enough to consider wider options, such as rebuilding and what this could mean for the community.

When Reverend Fa’afuata talks of community, he isn’t just meaning the direct church community. He means the wider community and the people of Hastings in the Church’s catchment. He recognises that in the central city there is a need for a versatile community space, that is affordable for all groups to use.

Currently the space is well used by groups that serve the community. Activities in the hall are not just church-focused, but are an important part of local community life, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Playcentre, youth suicide prevention seminars and family violence workshops.

The upgraded facility is designed to cater to large and small groups, with a theatre-style auditorium and break out rooms. The redevelopment project offers a wide range of opportunities which will enhance the offering to the wider community. Giblin Group helped the Wesley Church understand if such a Community Centre was achievable through a Feasibility Study. This also formed an essential part of ongoing funding applications. A Revenue Generation Strategy was developed, which “ground-truthed” funding assumptions and identified the best places to go for funding and how much could be requested.

This formed the basis for an ongoing coaching relationship where Giblin Group are now step-by-step implementing the Revenue Generation Strategy with the Church for funding applications to local and central government, private and community trusts. The aim of this guiding and coaching is learning through the process, which will enable the Church to eventually take the reins themselves. A big part of this is learning to build relationships and the various facets of being able to present your case to potential funders.

Reverend Fa’afuata says, “Craig [Ireson] has been there every step of the way with us. I’m used to speaking to a congregation and providing pastoral care. I’m not used to PowerPoints and arguing a case for monetary support. My job as Reverend means I deal mostly with issues directly with families and individuals.

My role isn’t about strategic thinking, but about making life manageable now. But, as I get to understand the process I can now see that this is the language of funders and I am gradually getting to grips with it. Coaching has been a new experience for me, but one that will serve to benefit our whole community. I can then go on to teach these skills to other members of the parish, who have a natural affinity towards people, so we can build a continuously stronger base for more effective ways to serve our community.”

Since 2011 I have worked with Jenni and Christine on a number of highly successful fundraising initiatives in support of the Sarjeant Gallery Redevelopment Project. With their help and expertise, we have raised more than $28.8m from central government and Lottery sources. The Giblin Group are a pleasure to work with and have provided great advice on many occasions concerning communications and public engagement. I can certainly recommend their services.

Greg Anderson, Director, Sarjeant Gallery

Giblin Group supported Blue Oyster with developing a robust Funding Strategy that took into account the specific needs of our organisation and activity. Jenni and Jess offered substantial advice and support in, not only establishing this strategy but giving us helpful tools for implementation and always prioritised sustainability throughout. Their enthusiasm for our space and activity was truly felt and appreciated – our relationship with them will be nourished and valued well into the future.

Grace Ryder, Gallery Director, Blue Oyster Gallery

“As our thinking evolved, Giblin Group showed a steady commitment to deepen their understanding of our needs. We always looked forward to our coaching sessions which were stimulating and inspiring. Jess and Jenni became valued colleagues that supported and provoked thinking with rigour and generosity. They’re now not only valuable advocates for BATS but part of our whānau.”

Jonty Hendry - General Manager, BATS Theatre

“Jenni did a fantastic job in helping us to secure critical partnerships and funding support for our internationally significant Len Lye Centre project – what’s more we really enjoyed working with her.”

Barbara McKerrow - Former CEO New Plymouth District Council

“Giblin Group’s knowledge of government practices and procedures on a national and local level is invaluable, and I often find that they are well connected with staff and officials on all levels of Government. Giblin Group scopes their assignments well, provides accurate cost estimates for their services, delivers within the agreed timeframes and always deliver excellent quality work – no project manager can really ask for more!”

Kritzo Venter, Senior Stormwater Engineer, Wanganui District Council

“The work that the Giblin Group completed, in collaboration with our staff, was instrumental in the success the project has had in securing significant funding to this key City initiative. In particular we have found the experience of the Giblin Group to been invaluable in seeking funding from a variety of sources in an increasingly challenging environment.”

Lance Vervoort, General Manager – Community, Hamilton City Council