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Community grants changing lives in Casey

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Over the last two years, the City of Casey has provided more than $600,000 to local groups supporting 182 valuable programs and events via its Community Grants program. The annual program provides individual grants of up to $5000 to support innovative, high-quality projects and events that support a range of positive outcomes for the Casey community.

Community Grants are designed to support individual or organisational projects and events which help residents to be healthy, active and engaged in community life. Further criteria include celebrating diversity and cultural heritage and promoting a sense of community and inclusion across Casey.

Read on to learn more about some of the worthy projects and events that have recently received funding.

Casey & District Multiple Birth Association Inc. (CDMBA): $2,000 for Care Packs 

The grant assisted the Casey & District Multiple Birth Association Inc. (CDMBA) to put together care packs distributed by volunteers to new families with multiple births (twins, etc). The care packs include food, baby items and gifts for siblings.

During home visits, CDMBA volunteers also offer practical and emotional support. Thanks to the grant, CDMBA assisted 54 families in the 2018/19 financial year via 135 volunteer hours.

Berwick Little Athletics: $3,000 for the Kids Community Running Festival 

Berwick Little Athletics received a grant to assist with the Kids Community Running Festival, a free fun-run for children aged 5-16. The grant helped to cover the cost of advertising and entertainment, while Berwick Little Athletic volunteers contributed 250 hours of unpaid time to help organise the event.

The event, which is on again later this year, brings together people from diverse backgrounds to participate in a sport that encourages healthy activity.

Endeavour Hills Neighbourhood Centre Inc: $3,000 for a Diversity Art Wall 

The Endeavour Hills Neighbourhood Centre Diversity Art Wall was created by a range of groups that use the centre and from within the broader Endeavour Hills community. The process involved an art facilitator working with groups such as LGBTI, women’s, Men’s Shed, religious schools, and varying cultural groups, which painted tiles representing different aspects of life that were then compiled to form an art installation.

The grant covered facilitator, marketing, venue and art supplies. This was supported by 150 hours of unpaid volunteer work.

Giggles Cooking Group: $1,000 for cooking sessions

The Giggles Cooking Group held facilitated cooking sessions at the Lynbrook Community Centre for people who are blind or with low vision. The sessions were run by a trained chef who assisted participants with hands-on cooking while learning about health ingredients and food.

The aim of the program is to help participants learn to cook and prepare food later in their own kitchens, rather than relying on fast food.

The grant helped to cover the costs of equipment, food, hire and travel while community members contributed 130 hours of volunteer time.

Windmill Theatre Company: $3,000 for a Youth Theatre Showcase 

The Windmill Theatre Company used their grant to deliver a Youth Theatre Showcase event called "The Next Big Thing", involving a cast of 38 local young people and 50 more people working behind the scenes.

Community members volunteered an epic 4000 hours of their time to making the production happen, and the showcase was seen by an audience of 800 people over five performances at Bunjil Place. “The Next Big Thing” went on to receive 11 nominations and win four awards at the local theatre Lyrebird Awards.

Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women's Coalition Inc: $3,000 for the We Are Women program 

The Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women's Coalition’s “We Are Women” program aims to bring culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women living in Casey out of their homes and into the local community.

Held in Hampton Park and Cranbourne, the grant assisted organisers to hold regular sessions for women to socialise, hear from guest speakers and benefit from a safe space to tackle a variety of social issues affecting CALD women in Casey.

The grant helped cover supplies and administrative costs while volunteers freely contributed 620 hours of their own time to assist.

Applications for 2020 grants open soon. Find information about the program including how to apply, here.