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A Far-Reaching Boost for Stretched Newcastle Community Sector

Thirty-one community organisations have jointly received $550,000 to support the provision of critical services made urgent by COVID-19.


City of Newcastle identified early in the pandemic that community groups would struggle to deliver services to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our community and initiated the Boost Our City targeted grants program in response.

City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said community organisations have been on the frontline of helping Novocastrians by responding to a range of challenges in our community that have intensified because of COVID-19.

“The intent of the funding package was to support existing service providers to cope with increased urgency and demand for support services including supported living, crisis support, welfare, community transport and meal services”.

“Countless vulnerable people in our community rely on a helping hand from our local charitable organisations, so when they were under pressure, we were eager to provide a boost.

“The benefit of this funding is far-reaching and has meant that some of our most at risk locals, like young people and women, have received support in the face of increased hardship.

“To deal with the initial community impact caused by COVID-19, $150,000 was rolled out by City of Newcastle through a Rapid Response Grant Program. This was followed by the larger, targeted Boost Our City program aimed to strengthen the capacity of local service delivery.

Councillor Carol Duncan said the grants will improve the lives of people who are doing it tough and will prevent community groups from being forced to turn people away.

“The Boost Our City Grants have made a real impact in the not for profit and charity sector, providing support for the agencies that help the most vulnerable groups within the community.

“COVID-19 has had profound implications for our local economy and has affected specific population groups such as our youth particularly hard.

Path2Change CEO Jen O’Sullivan said our city’s young people have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

“Many of the young people we support have been extremely anxious and required extra support from staff to manage the changing landscape of our community living with COVID-19.

“We have recorded an increase in young people requiring assistance during the pandemic. The financial support received by the City equates to more young people receiving the helping hand they need and deserve.

“We are also focused on ensuring their social wellbeing is supported as maintaining social connection has been difficult leading to increased feelings of isolation.

“The grant funding we have received from the City of Newcastle will support the ‘Empower Me’ Life Skills Program which focuses on helping young people build and enhance their strengths and capabilities, through the development of foundational life skills or improved outcomes to manage barriers they may be facing.

“This program develops resilience and offers practical solutions to significant challenges and hurdles they may come up against.”

Recipients of City of Newcastle’s Boost our City Grants include:

  • Compass Housing

  • Red Nose

  • Newcastle Meals on Wheels

  • Awabakal

  • Path2Change Ltd

  • Nova for Women and Children Inc

  • Hunter Multicultural Communities inc

  • Hunter Community Legal Centre Inc.

  • Home-Start National Inc

  • Gateway Care

  • Victims of Crime Assistance League Hunter

  • Muloobinba Aboriginal Corporation

  • Hunter Region Working Women's Group Ltd

  • Catholic Care

  • Financial Counselling Hunter Valley Project Inc

  • Justiz Community Limited

  • Cancer Patients Foundation Ltd

  • Acon Health Limited

  • Hunter Homeless Connect Inc.

  • Sparkhaus Studio

  • The Trustee for the Salvation Army (NSW) Property Trust

  • Zara's House Refugees and Partners Inc.

  • Family Planning NSW

  • Soul Cafe Life Church

  • Lifeline Direct Limited

  • Newcastle Multiple Birth Club Inc

  • Got Your Back Sista

  • Seventh Day Adventist Church North NSW Conference

  • Cerebral Palsy Alliance

  • Healthy Change Challenge Pty Ltd

  • Diocese Maitland Newcastle Development Relief Agency

Pictured top: City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, Councillor Carol Duncan and Path2Change CEO Jen O’Sullivan with the Path2Change program facilitators and young clients at the Wallsend Path2Change headquarters.

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