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In a nut shell Project Butterfly aims to help families who have suffered an unimaginable loss; the loss of a child.
Jess Somerville, Trustpower Community Relations Representative

Over 230 people gathered at the Rutherford this evening for the Trustpower Nelson Tasman Community Awards which were presented by Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese, Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne and Trustpower Community Relations Manager Graeme Purches.

For winning the Supreme Award, Project Butterfly received a framed certificate, a trophy and $1,500 prize money. Project Butterfly now has the opportunity to represent the region at the 2014 Trustpower National Community Awards, which are being held in the Wellington region in March 2015.

In total, Trustpower has given away over $5,000 to various community groups through tonight’s awards.

Trustpower Community Relations Representative Jess Somerville says, in a nut shell Project Butterfly aims to help families who have suffered an unimaginable loss; the loss of a child.

“This empathetic group do this by introducing them to other people in similar situations, sending them on workshops, helping pay for counselling if need be and they also support them with cooked meals too.

“On Mother’s Day this year, Project Butterfly took flight in a more tangible form too, with the first stage of a memorial pathway being opened. This pathway is beautifully decorated with colourful tiles that were created by the families affected. It’s a place where parents can come and grieve or siblings a place to visit that is not a cemetery; but it’s very healing for the community too.

“At any one time there can be between 5 to 30 volunteers helping Project Butterfly by supporting families, fundraising, cooking food or just generally being there for any number of those affected. Local businesses have also got behind this great cause.

“Currently there is no formal support for this type of tragedy in the region and counselling is expensive and people often fall through the gaps as they try to readjust to normal life. Thanks to this initiative a space has been created where people can go and reflect and remember in a peaceful setting that isn't a graveyard and will hopefully provide some comfort and support for local families suffering the same loss.

“It’s a project that is helping make families whole again through art, workshops, contact and introductions and we can’t wait for them to share their story at the 2014 Trustpower National Community Awards”, says Miss Somerville.

One hundred and ten groups were entered into this year’s Trustpower Nelson Tasman Community Awards. Other award recipients at tonight’s Trustpower Nelson Tasman Community Awards were:

Heritage and Environment
Commendation: Founders Heritage Park Front of House Volunteers
Runner-Up: Brook Waimarama Sanctuary
Winner: Natureland Wildlife Park

Health and Well Being
Commendation: St John Ambulance
Commendation: Nelson/Tasman Newcomers Network
Runner-Up: Nelson Host Lions Club
Winner: Nelson Tasman Region Hospice

Arts and Culture
Commendation: Nelson Youth Council
Joint Runner-Up: Golden Bay Community Arts Council
Joint Runner-Up: Takaka Citizens Band
Winner: Vision Motueka

Sport and Leisure
Commendation: Tasman Regional Sports Event Trust
Commendation: Nelson Tasman Positive Ageing Forum
Joint Runner- up: Nelsun Underwater Hockey Club
Winner: Bowls Murchison

Education and Child/Youth Development
Joint Runner-Up: Golden Bay High School Home School Association
Joint Runner-Up:
Winner: English Language Part Nelson

Supreme Winner
Project Butterfly

Youth Spirit
Winner: Tullia Wilson
Runner-up: Emily Narbey
Finalist: Jared Kirk
Finalist: Katie Barham