Lake Macquarie City Council will channel $100,000 into local community groups to help drive the city’s economic and social recovery from COVID-19.
Individual COVID-19 Community Funding Program grants ranging from $800 to $5,000 have been awarded to a total 28 community groups, clubs and other organisations.
Community Activities Lake Macquarie (CALM) is among the recipients.
The organisation provides programs, services and an effective voice to empower children, families and young people to flourish within their community.
It will use its $5,000 grant to offer food vouchers and prepaid data to families who experienced financial strain as a result of COVID-19.
CALM’s Manager of People and Purpose, Prue Hughes, recognised the importance of supporting the community during the pandemic.
“We greatly appreciate the funding provided by council and it will allow us to provide greater support to the community,” she said.
“It will help us supply much-needed essentials to families, such as food vouchers and prepaid mobile and internet data, to lessen the financial burden of COVID-19.”
Other projects funded under the grants range from counselling at Swansea Community Cottage for people dealing with COVID-19-related anxiety; the purchasing of laptops to deliver classes to seniors isolated by COVID-19 by Eastlakes U3A; and the installation of hand sanitising and sneeze guards at Cameron Park Community Centre.
Lake Macquarie City Council’s Manager of Community Partnerships, Andrew Bryant, said the diversity of projects demonstrated the broad range of needs throughout the community in the wake of the pandemic.
The council received 55 applications for funding when it called for expressions of interest earlier this year.
Each was assessed to ensure the proposed activity or project was in response to increased pressures from COVID-19; met the needs of Lake Macquarie’s most vulnerable; delivered ongoing benefits; and was delivered within a set timeframe.
“The entire process was expedited to deliver financial support as quickly as possible during this challenging period,” Mr Bryant said.
The list of community groups to receive funding under the program included the 1st Swansea Scout Group (The Scout Association of Australia NSW Branch – $2,500); Baptist Care, Windale ($5,000); Belmont Community Centre ($5,000); Belmont Community Child Care Centre ($5,000); Blackalls Park Preschool ($1,726); Catholic Care Social Services Hunter-Manning ($2,500); and Dress for Success ($5,000).
Eastlakes U3A Inc, Home-Start National Inc, JobQuest – Penrith Skills for Jobs, Newcastle Meals on Wheels, Nova for Women and Children, Southlake Community Services, and Variety – the Children’s Charity NSW/ACT also received $5,000 each.
The remaining groups were Families Supporting Families Inc ($800), Gateway Care at Pelican ($4,750), Lifeline Direct ($1,800), Lions Club of Warners Bay ($900), Redhead Bowling Club Co-op ($1,702 and $2,475), Scout Association of Australia 1st Warners Bay Group ($3,990), Southlake Marketplace ($3,110), Sugar Valley Neighbourhood Centre ($4,985), Swansea Community Cottage ($3,360), The Canopy Incorporated ($2,585), Uniting Preschool Caves Beach ($1,780), and Wangi Peter Pan Preschool ($1,000).