Schoolchildren to receive quake support grant

8:32 pm on 13 February 2013

The Red Cross has gifted $9.3 million to schoolchildren still suffering the effects of earthquakes in the Canterbury region.

The humanitarian organisation says the money will go towards counselling and support for children dealing with earthquake-related anxiety, stress or behavioural problems.

It is also designed to help those whose access to activities and resources has been limited by quake-related financial hardship.

Canterbury Primary Principals Association representative Graeme Barber says teachers in the region say they have noticed an increase in anxiety among children since the earthquakes began in September 2010, including behavioural problems among new entrant five-year-olds.

The grant is open to more than 71,000 children in Selwyn, Waimakariri and Christchurch city and will be distributed through schools.

The Red Cross envisages the grant will be able to help children access things like counselling, school camps, field trips, group activities, uniforms, stationery and life skills programmes.