ARTHOUSE SUPPORT: Shona Hammond-Boys, second from the left, is supported by Ivor Jones, Jenny Gregory, Robyn Lee Robinson , Chris Anstis and Brett Wotton. Photo supplied

CHILDREN’S Arthouse champion Shona Hammond-Boys is said to have cried tears of joy when she learned the Opotiki Children’s Arthouse in Wellington Street had been granted operational funding to continue the efforts of the dedicated group of volunteers.

Eastern Bay Community Foundation executive officer Rosemary Sloman said the announcement was timely, given it was National Volunteer Week.

“The volunteers ignite the creativity of almost 200 children who participate in a range of activities, such as visual arts, sculpture, dance and drama, textiles and garment construction,” she said.

“Transformational change is the goal of the trustees and grower representatives in making financial grants to benefit those residing in the Opotiki district, from the newly created Opotiki Kiwifruit Growers Community Endowment Fund.”

Ms Sloman said the arthouse was a safe haven and a hive of creativity for the children who attended.

“Materials are donated and currently this facility runs on the goodwill of those in the community,” she said.

“The goal of the current trustees is to raise sufficient capital to purchase the land and buildings to create a permanent legacy for the children of Opotiki.”

Volunteers had removed old machinery from the current site, making modifications to ensure the space is more useable.

“Insulation is now required to line the building,” Ms Sloman said.

“There are plans for a sculpture garden to be created on the adjoining land.”