GSF’s Small Grants program seeks to support small grass roots projects that deliver big impact for our community!
Applications for small grants generally open annually in May. Funding may be awarded to not-for-profit organisations for projects that positively impact the people they support; address an immediate or unmet need; and meet the GSF funding criteria; and align with our vision. Funding criteria can be viewed here. The local projects that were awarded funding during 2022 are -
Horses For Hope
A GSF Small Grant will contribute to Horses for Hope (HFH), an Equine-Assisted therapy that brings horse and humans together to improve the lives of both. People and horses work together in a safe and therapeutic environment to foster empathy, resilience, and emotional management. The demand for the service has increased in recent years.
People of all ages suffering from trauma, mental illness or developmental disorders are able to access HFH as a therapeutic support for their challenges in life.
Goulburn Valley Seniors Association will utilise the GSF small grant to hold workshops for members to regularly learn and practice music and dance whilst benefitting from community connections and being active. The main purpose of the social gatherings is to foster social opportunities to encourage people out of isolation and improve mental health among our senior members.
Once skills are mastered, the participants will perform as a group at social events and gatherings within the community or in conjunction with other organisations.
The Point of Difference Studio was awarded funds to support events during NAIDOC Week this month, namely The Big Corroboree. Events like these are a vehicle for inclusive activities to encourage young Indigenous and other multicultural youth to participate in culturally significant traditions. The traditional music, dance and other performances allow young people to acknowledge and celebrate their culture, while educating the wider community about their heritage. It also provides an opportunity to volunteer their skills to support the events.
This NAIDOC Week theme, Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up inspires all of us to be part of the activities and to adopt the sentiment every day, not just during NAIDOC Week.
Gallawah Connect Project
The Gallawah Connect Project supports prison youth aged 15-25 to return to the community, as well as adult community members with disabilities, who have been in contact with justice system. The GSF funds enabled participation in the 2022 Nelson Mandela Leadership Summit. The annual summit opens up opportunities to build resilience, cultural understanding and aspiration among a diverse youth population from Shepparton. The funding will also provide various education workshops and seminars to build the participants’ employment skills to support their employment aspirations.
Other projects supported during 2021/22 -
South Shepparton Community Centre Inc (SSCC) has been providing food and other personal items to struggling families, and others, for many years, but has not experienced the current level of demand ever before.
A $2000 grant was provided to help with the emergency relief and other support programs, for members of the community who are at risk of, or are experiencing, housing insecurity. The funds have been used for warm bedding, fuel vouchers, food supplies, clothing and other immediate supports.
At the height of the heartbreaking Afghan invasion crisis GSF was able to support the local Picnic 4 Peace organisation to support newly arrived refugees fleeing the war torn country with nothing but the clothes on their back. A small amount of funding was provided to help volunteers from Picnic 4 Peace to be able to address some of the immediate need by these refugees to enhance their arrival in Shepparton.
LULLA’S KINDER PACKS
During the peak of lockdowns due to COVID 19 in 2021, GSF provided 110 packs for Aboriginal kinder children aged 3 to 5 years at the Lulla’s Children’s Centre in Shepparton. The children and families were unable to attend the kindergarten for long periods of time and staff were keen to make sure they had access to quality educational and play-based activities to help keep them occupied at home.
HEALTH MESSAGING IN LANGUAGE
Due to our past involvement in developing and providing important COVID health messaging in multiple languages to protect our diverse community, GSF awarded a $2000 grant to the Masomo Mbele Foundation in late 2021 to assist with current COVID-19 health messages in first languages for non-English speaking communities.
HIGH SERVICE DEMAND
Shepparton Family and Financial Services are experiencing a high demand from clients with more complex issues including outstanding high costs of electricity and gas bills, having to make the choice between going without food and prescriptions or keeping the utilities on in their homes.
Funds to increase the client interview spaces has significantly decreased waiting times and with the assistance of students and volunteers there is better service in its Emergency Relief Department.
Projects supported in 2020 - 2021 -
Work Ready Program
The gotafe Work Ready Program aims to develop new work skills of jobseekers and mentor them into meaningful work.
“MEAC Artists” program offers socially isolated and disadvantaged individuals the opportunity to learn new skills, enhance their wellbeing by maintaining their health and fitness and reduce loneliness. The program is run weekly by the Mooroopna Education and Activity Centre.
The Community Hub of St Georges Road Primary School and Shepparton English Language Centre’s garden project provides a wonderful opportunity for women and children from our multicultural communities to come together to teach and learn new skills through growing produce, cooking, and sharing cultural experiences.
Shepparton Foodshare is a local food rescue service experiencing an alarming increase in demand for food by local agencies and welfare services that support those suffering food insecurity. Shepparton Foodshare has identified the critical need for a permanent, purpose-built facility to be able to respond into the future to the growing need for food support. A GSF small grant has been used to compile a strategic accommodation study to inform the organisation on its best options.