Applications open for Stronger Communities Program and Volunteer Grants in Hunter federal electorate

GOOD TIMING: Macquarie Shores Swimming Club received a $5,264 Stronger Communities grant in Round 3 of funding last year. The money was used to buy a digital scoreboard. Joel Fitzgibbon is pictured with club members at the Toronto Swim Centre. Picture: Supplied
GOOD TIMING: Macquarie Shores Swimming Club received a $5,264 Stronger Communities grant in Round 3 of funding last year. The money was used to buy a digital scoreboard. Joel Fitzgibbon is pictured with club members at the Toronto Swim Centre. Picture: Supplied

LAST year, Macquarie Shores Swimming Club received $5,264 for a new digital scoreboard at Toronto Swim Centre.

The previous year, Sunshine Progress Association scored some money to help extend and complete a boardwalk on the foreshore at Sunshine.

Which local groups will benefit from some federal government grants money this time around?

Community organisations and not-for-profit groups in the Hunter electorate can benefit from two grants programs offering up money to invest in capital works projects as well as volunteer programs.

A total of $22.5 million is available across the country for a fourth round of the Stronger Communities Program (SCP).

This means the Hunter electorate has access to $150,000 worth of grants.

Eligible applicants can apply for a grant of between $2,500 and $20,000 to fund a project which will improve local community participation and contribute to a more vibrant and inclusive community.

All applicants are required to match the SCP grant in cash or in-kind on at least a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Expressions of interest are open now and close on Friday, September 7.

“There are countless projects and initiatives that are simply lacking the funding to make a worthwhile and considerable impact within our community,” federal member for Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon, said.

“We have recently seen the positive impact of the 15 projects delivered under the last round of the Stronger Communities Grants Program, so I encourage organisations to submit an expression of interest application before September 7 to ensure they are in the running for their projects to be funded.”

Among the other Hunter electorate grant recipients in the last round of funding were $20,000 for the Rotary Club of Cessnock for a new catering van, $8,925 for the Singleton Neighbourhood Centre for a new air-conditioner, and $20,000 for the Denman Sandy Hollow Junior Rugby League Club to fund the first stage of their new concrete grandstand.

Volunteer grants

Even bands are eligible to receive money under the Volunteer Grants scheme. Expressions of interest can be made through Joel Fitzgibbon's office. Picture: Peter Stoop

Even bands are eligible to receive money under the Volunteer Grants scheme. Expressions of interest can be made through Joel Fitzgibbon's office. Picture: Peter Stoop

IN addition to the Stronger Communities Program, 2018 Volunteer Grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 are available.

These are provided to help not-for-profit community organisations or groups support their volunteers through practical measures such as the purchase of small equipment items, reimbursement for volunteers’ fuel and transport costs, and contributions towards the cost of training and background screening checks. 

Groups that can apply for the grants are any community-based volunteer groups that work in their local communities. 

These can include progress associations, scouting groups, sports clubs, community clubs, wildlife carers, bands and musical clubs – and many more.

Applications for 2018 Volunteer Grants close on Tuesday, September 18.

“Volunteers make a valuable contribution to our community so it’s fantastic to see a grant opportunity aimed to support our volunteers and the organisations they work with,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

For more information about the Stronger Communities Program and 2018 Volunteer Grants  visit joelfitzgibbon.com/grants

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