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Charities receive helping hand


Six charities across the Hunter have received a helping hand to cope with the impacts of COVID-19.

The Greater Charitable Foundation has committed more than $500,000 to allow the charities to either innovate the way in which current services are delivered or pivot their service to meet changing needs.

The Hunter Medical Research Institute has received $179,025 to convert its existing MIDAS2 post stroke fatigue trial to an online platform using tele-health services, while $99,667 has been donated to OzHarvest to address the immediate need for food relief caused by COVID-19. The service will provide 2,000 nutritious Food Essential Boxes, which include fresh produce and pantry staples, to vulnerable families and households in the Hunter Region and on the Gold Coast.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern NSW was forced to temporarily suspend the acceptance of new families into its house due to COVID-19. To help, it’s received $82,417.

The Cerebral Palsy Alliance was also handed $67,425 for the development and rollout of ‘CPA Telepractice’ – an online platform that allows therapists to provide ‘virtual’ early response therapy to at-risk children and their families.

The University of Newcastle gained $55,000 after being forced to postpone its Healthy Youngsters, Healthy Dads program. It plans on using the additional funds to complete the rollout of its community program and finalise the development of resource materials.

Finally, Youth Off The Streets received $27,992 to help cope with an increase in demand for intensive one-on-one support as a result of isolation and plans to use the additional funding to provide staff and resources to assist students with their return to school.

Greater Charitable Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Anne Long, said it has been inspiring to see the charities quickly refocus their business to ensure they continue to serve their communities.

“The immediate impact of COVID-19 on the majority of our partners was significant. For some, social distancing restrictions forced a rethink of program delivery, while others pivoted their entire service model to address changing community needs,” Ms Long said.

“It became more important than ever for us to reaffirm our support and commitment to these partners and work closely with them to deliver these critically important services.

“We are incredibly proud of the work all partners have undertaken in a short amount of time to evolve their businesses and maintain their focus on providing their communities with much needed support,” Ms Long said.

Ms Long said the Foundation’s next community funding round will take place in the first half of 2021, as it celebrates 10 years of giving.

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