Lake Macquarie City Council will channel $100,000 into local community groups to help drive the City’s economic and social recovery from COVID-19.
Individual COVID-19 Community Funding Program grants ranging from $800 to $5000 have been awarded to a total 28 community groups, clubs and other organisations.
Among the recipients are Community Activities Lake Macquarie, which will use its $5000 grant to provide food vouchers and prepaid data to families who experienced financial strain as a result of COVID-19.
Manager People and Purpose at Community Activities Lake Macquarie, Prue Hughes recognised the importance of supporting the community during COVID-19.
“We greatly appreciate the funding provided by Council and it will allow us to provide greater support to the community. It will help us supply much needed essentials to families, such as food vouchers and prepaid mobile and internet data to lessen the financial burden of COVID-19,” Ms Hughes said.
Other projects funded under the grants range from counselling at Swansea Community Cottage for people dealing with COVID-19-related anxiety, the purchasing of laptops to deliver classes to seniors isolated by COVID-19 by Eastlakes U3A and the installation of hand sanitising and sneeze guards at Cameron Park Community Centre.
Manager Community Partnerships Andrew Bryant said the diversity of projects demonstrated the broad range of needs throughout the community in the wake of the pandemic.
Council received 55 applications for funding when it called for expressions of interest earlier this year.
Each was assessed to ensure the proposed activity or project:
Was in response to increased pressures from COVID-19.
Met the needs of Lake Macquarie’s most vulnerable
Delivered ongoing benefits
Was delivered within a set timeframe
“The entire process was expedited to deliver financial support as quickly as possible during this challenging period,” Mr Bryant said.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Cr Kay Fraser said she looked forward to seeing the benefits flowing throughout the community from the 28 grants.
“These grants will provide a very real, direct benefit to organisations and people in Lake Mac who need it most,” Cr Fraser said.
The Community Funding Program is among a raft of Council initiatives launched to offset the effects of COVID-19 in Lake Macquarie.
The initiatives include a reduction in fees for sporting clubs for the 2020 winter season, an expansion of Council’s Financial Hardship Assistance Policy and a reduction in rent at eligible Council-owned properties.
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