Funds boosted to support more community programs, events and services
Published on 23 March 2023
Image Caption: Mayor Gangemi pictured with Nicole King at the sensory garden at RDA (NSW) Tall Timbers.
The Hills Shire Council has boosted the funding which community groups, non-for-profits, charities and many other organisations can access to continue their meaningful work in the community.
During a recent Ordinary Meeting of Council, the decision was made to increase money made available to applicants under Council’s Community Grants Program, which aims to support community services and engage residents across four main priority areas, including:
- Events, concerts and the arts;
- Domestic violence prevention and recovery;
- Mental health and suicide prevention; and
- Disability, youth, seniors and cultural projects.
Under the program, the Minor Community Grant has increased from $1000 to $2500. For larger projects, the Annual Community Grant has risen from a maximum limit of $15,000 to $25,000.
Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Peter Gangemi said the monetary increase allows Council to continue to support vital community-led programs.
“Our Community Grants Program has been so beneficial in helping to get these ideas for events, projects and programs turned into a reality for many local groups, charities and organisations,” Mayor Gangemi said.
“Some of these organisations have limited financial services but deliver meaningful and impactful services that help our residents in such a positive way.
“Council is proud to support these organisations whose programs, events and services align with Council’s vision for building a vibrant and inclusive community,” Mayor Gangemi added.
In addition to the monetary funding, Council has also streamlined its Grants application process.
“This reduces the paperwork required to apply for a grant, while making the process that much easier,” Mayor Gangemi said.
“It also allows our community groups, charities and not-for-profits - who are mainly run by volunteers - to spend less time applying and doing more of what they do best,” Mayor Gangemi added.
Nicole King from the RDA (NSW) Tall Timbers Centre said Council’s Community Grants Program had been so beneficial to her organisation, which provides horse riding and associated activities for people with disability.
Last year, the RDA (NSW) Tall Timbers Centre secured a $1706 grant under the 2021-2022 Program to reinvigorate their therapy garden and to also build a fence to improve safety at the facility. These works have now been completed, and the garden, which provides a wonderful sensory experience, is being enjoyed by all who attend the Centre.
“This has given us the opportunity to bring the garden to life again for our participants and enable more access to visit it and enjoy the space by the wider community,” Ms King said.
“Every cent counts and having this grant boost to finish off the small but essential works has enabled us to focus more on using the space instead of searching for grants,” she added.
Council's Annual Community Grants Program will open in September for applications. Residents and local organisations are encouraged to apply, as well as participate in the Council organised training programs, which teaches the skills on how to apply for a grant.
Meanwhile, Council’s Minor Community Grant and Other Financial Assistance programs are open for applications all year round.
To find out more about Council’s Community Grants program, visit The Hills Shire Council website, www.thehills.nsw.gov.au and search “Apply for a Grant”.