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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Cash splash for awesome projects

Ever thought of a great idea but not been able to bankroll it?

A new chapter has opened in Lake Macquarie to help fuel creative minds and spark beneficial projects.

The Awesome Foundation is an international group that hands out $1,000 each month to a concept it deems worthy of support.

After launching in 2009, the foundation’s chapters across the globe, which include Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle, have given away more than $3 million.

One of its newest members, Awesome Lake Mac, has now announced its first winner during a pitch at Canon, Warners Bay.

Hunter-based entrepreneur Chad Ramage, who created a project called Accessibility in the City in 2016, received the grant to develop his user-friendly online mapping platform.

It provides accessible features within cities, shopping precincts, universities and the like for people who find it hard to navigate busy, cluttered and visually-oriented environments.

The data aims to offer urban planners and governments vital insights into mobility challenges that can aid the creation of a true smart, resilient and livable city for all.

Awesome Lake Mac co-facilitator, Emilie Wiggers, said the initiative wanted to help projects that could benefit the Hunter community.

“We’ve based this on the Awesome Foundation model, which is a global network of volunteers,” she said.
“It is an experiment with no-strings attached funding structures.
“[The projects] just need to be accessible, simple and community-oriented.
“Chad’s web-based platform looks at things such as where accessible parks are located and if there are lifts and stairs.
“A lot of people have good ideas, but it can be hard to get grants to support them.
“With this, they can fill out a few simple questions online and the board is really encouraging and supportive.”

Each month, Awesome Lake Mac’s nine permanent board members will get together, listen to pitches and contribute $100 towards the grant.

A guest board member can also take part for those who are curious about the chapter’s work or undecided over a regular commitment.

You can visit awesomefoundation.org/en/chapters/lakemac if you want to make a pitch or email [email protected] for more information.

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