By Romy Stephens
Community Houses in the Dandenong Ranges have received a funding boost from Cardinia Shire Council amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cockatoo Community House, Emerald Community House and Emerald Centre for Hope and Outreach (ECHO) were listed among groups that received funding under the $1.6 million Community and Business Coronavirus Support Package.
Cockatoo Community House coordinator Gabby Higgins said part of the funding would go towards continuing a community newsletter that had restarted during the pandemic.
“With the need to share information in response to Covid-19, there seemed to be a real urgency to get the word out and connect people that may be less connected via phone and via the internet,” she said.
“The first issue was printed with the support of the RSL and then we got the grant funding so that will support some of the costs of printing and distributing with the aim to come out every month.
“It’s another way of creating connection within the community.”
Ms Higgins said funding would also go towards providing additional food for its Food is Free program.
The council’s Community and Business Coronavirus Support Package allowed eligible organisations to apply for a Community Connections Grant (up to $2000) and Community Relief Provider Support Grant (up to $5000).
Emerald and Cockatoo Community Houses received both grants, while ECHO received the Community Connection Grant.
Cardinia Shire Mayor Jeff Springfield congratulated the successful grant recipients and thanked them for their continued service to the community.
“We are so grateful for the continued service of all the grant recipients, who are all doing such a great job supporting our community to stay connected during these unusual times, and beyond as State Government restrictions ease,” Cr Springfield said.
“Council is pleased to be able to provide financial assistance to some of our local support services so that they may continue to support vulnerable people in our community, when it’s needed most.”
Applications for the Covid-19 Community Relief Provider Support Grants will remain open until further notice.
For more information and to apply for funding, visit www.cardinia.vic.gov.au/covid19grants.