If our community is to thrive it is important to promote community connections.
We know that connections matter. That strong ties with family, friends and the community provide people with happiness, security, support and a sense of purpose. And that this connectedness builds resilience in people.
These connections matter especially for those who are vulnerable. Age, disability, chronic illness, ethnicity and socio-economic conditions are all factors contributing to the social marginalisation of vulnerable people and community groups.
The Give Where You Live Foundation’s Community Connections Grants with support from AWA Alliance Bank provide 12 month grants of up to $10,000 to support community connections as a way to build resilience for vulnerable community members. Grant requests can focus on:
- reducing social isolation of vulnerable community members to promote resilience or
- supporting social participation of vulnerable community members to promote resilience
2020 Community Connections Grants Awarded
As part of the Foundation’s 2020 Grant Round in October 2019 the Foundation awarded 13 Community Connections grants to the following organisations:
Back to Back Theatre Inc ($10,000) – To promote community connections for people with disabilities in the Geelong region through the delivery of arts program which assist these individuals to reach their full potential and challenge societal attitudes towards disability.
Barwon Disability Resource Council ($10,000) – To allow individuals with disabilities to fully participate in our community, enable their human rights and gain resilience through providing individual advocacy and building their capacity to self-advocate.
Bellarine Training and Community Hub ($10,000) – To support social participation of disengaged and disadvantaged young people aged 11-18 residing on the Bellarine in a safe non-threatening environment through a weekly drop-in program.
Bluebird Foundation ($10,000) – To support social participation of disadvantaged young people by providing supported pathways into creative arts workshops that align with their personal artistic interests and passions.
Foundation 61 ($10,000) – To increase the engagement, resilience, connectedness and confidence of socially disadvantaged and isolated women who have been affected by life controlling issues through counselling, training, mentoring, volunteer opportunities, social events and an annual retreat.
Geelong Mums ($10,000) – To increase social acceptance and mobility and decrease social isolation for disadvantaged families by connecting them to services and their community through car seats, prams and items for their children.
OneCare Geelong Ltd ($10,000) – To reduce social isolation for vulnerable community members through a weekly Community Meal Program that supports developing personal networks, friendships and ongoing social connections.
Orange Sky Australia ($9,600) – To increase social connection for people experiencing homelessness in Greater Geelong by providing access to free laundry and genuine and non-judgmental conversation.
Riding for the Disabled-Barwon Centre ($10,000) – To support social participation for disabled young people through therapeutic horse riding activities.
Solve Disability Solutions Inc ($10,000) – To reduce social isolation and promote resilience of people with disabilities in the Geelong region by enabling them to participate more fully at home, school, work and in their community through provision of highly customised equipment that meets their individual needs.
Uniting (Victoria and Tasmania) Ltd ($10,000) – To increase the social participation of people experiencing disadvantage living in the Norlane community by continuing to establish a welcoming place at the Dorothy Thompson Centre where they can engage with other people and learn skills to build their independence and resilience.
Very Special Kids ($7,020.39) – To reduce social isolation by providing opportunities for community connection for parents who have a child with a life-threatening condition or a child who has died.
Wellways Australia Ltd ($10,000) – To reduce social isolation of disadvantaged LGBTIQA+ community members through the Geelong Pride Shed, a safe and welcoming space for the LGBTIQ+ community in Geelong to connect, share knowledge and develop new skills.
Why Community Connections Grants
Community Connections grants support both decreasing social isolation and increasing social participation for vulnerable populations. While using the terms decreasing social isolation and increasing social participation may seem like the same thing, these two terms are different. Social isolation is the absence of social interactions, contact and relationships with family, friends and neighbours on an individual level, and with “society at large” on a broader level. The term social isolation is often used when talking programs that relate to seniors, people with disabilities, refugees or even young mums. Social participation goes a step further. Social participation refers to a person’s involvement in activities that provide interaction with others in society or the community, it often includes active involvement in contributing to society (not just connecting) and can result in empowerment, and an increase in control over decisions impacting those engaged.
Strong social and community connection can act as a protective factor. It can build resilience for when people are in crisis.
The Foundation believes that small community focused organisations have a role to play in building these connections, particularly for vulnerable people.
For More Information
If you have any questions on the 2020 Community Grants process just completed or details about our 2021 process please contact Cynthia Scherer, Community Impact and Grants Manager via email or phone (03) 5229-4364.
The Give Where You Live Foundation’s Community Connections Grant Round is supported by AWA Alliance Bank.