Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal
For 33 years families from Singleton and surrounding areas experiencing life challenges – from domestic violence to anxiety in young people – have been coming to Singleton Family Support for therapeutic counselling, family capacity building, education and wellbeing programs.
Situated on the banks of the Hunter River, Singleton is in NSW, some 197 kilometres north-north-west of Sydney. A major coal mining centre, the rural region has limited public transport options, a transient and often isolated population linked to the mining industry and limited support services.
Supporting this community, Singleton Family Support Services has a passionate, capable and qualified team of professional workers. Together, they offer support to more than 50 families in a one-to-one setting and approximately 30 individuals in a group setting at any given time.
Since the COVID pandemic and critically in the last few months as restrictions have eased, the Service has been inundated with referrals from individuals, families and other service providers. Over the last six months, referrals have increased more than 50% on the same time the previous year. The Service’s ability to refer onto other professionals, such as GPs, Psychologists, Housing services and Mental health providers, has also been impacted, with many professionals’ books closed and long waiting lists. This has placed a significant strain on the Singleton Family Support’s ability to respond to each referral appropriately. While there are many issues and people needing support, the Service is particularly concerned about the mental health of young people. COVID created a pandemic of anxiety and uncertainty with this group. There are no youth-specific mental health services in Singleton.
A $49,500 COVID Regional Community Support Program grant, funded by Resilience NSW, will allow the service to increase staff time. This equates to 80 additional referrals to Family Works, including 10 additional counselling places for youth. An additional six support groups can be offered to the community and it means further support for the organisation’s wellbeing programs. The funding reduces the pressure on the organisation. For families, this will mean timely assessments of the family’s needs, earlier interventions, greater access to counselling, educational programs and support groups, building awareness in parenting theories, domestic and family violence and mental health. This will all lead to increased family capacity to build resilience and safety for children and families.
Thirty-four local groups and not-for-profits that delivered food and care hampers to regional communities during the height of the 2021 COVID-19 restrictions will share in $300,000 from the NSW Government’s COVID Regional Community Support (CRCS) program.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said more than 72,000 hampers were delivered to residents in regional and rural parts of NSW, including Ballina, Tweed Heads, Leeton and Albury.
“These groups and organisations dropped everything and dipped into their own funds to support isolated residents during last year’s COVID-19 restrictions by partnering with Resilience NSW to prepare and deliver food, essential items and relief packs to those in need,” Ms Cooke said.
“The $300,000 will cover expenses like fuel, couriers, and logistics costs, helping these groups and organisations to continue their wonderful work into the future, including at the Ballina Hot Meal Centre which is using its $5,024 grant to purchase new freezers.”
Each grant being provided through the CRCS program ranges from $1,000 to $30,000 and is administered by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal.
Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal CEO Natalie Egleton said the funding recognises the critical role that local community groups played during the pandemic.
“We’re delighted that 23 per cent of applications are from Indigenous community groups, all of which played such a vital role in ensuring that their community members were cared for, and we are pleased to be able to support them with this funding,” Ms Egleton said.
Applications are currently being accepted for grants of up to $50,000 for capacity building initiatives, such as attracting and retaining volunteers and staff, enhancing governance skills, building digital capacity and creating partnerships that foster stronger, more resilient communities.
See the full list of recipients below:
|Agape Outreach Incorporated||Tweed Heads - Byron Bay||$1,681|
|Albury Wodonga Regional Foodshare||Albury||$13,500|
|Allambi Care Limited||Lake Maquarie - Warners Bay - Central Coast - Cessnock - Newcastle||$7,000|
|Armidale / Uralla Meals On Wheels Incorporated||Armidale||$3,183|
|Ballina Hot Meal Centre Incorporated||Ballina||$5,024|
|Belong Blue Mountains Incorporated||Blue Mountains||$1,000|
|Camden Haven Community at 3||Lakewood||$1,125|
|CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning||Newcastle - Tareer - Forster - Maitland||$1,977|
|Christian Outreach Centre||Kempsey - South West Rocks - Macksville - Nambucca Heads||$1,350|
|Community Resources Limited||Wollongong||$3,540|
|Coonamble Neighbourhood Centre||Coomamble - Gulargambone - Quambone||$10,810|
|Food For Life Community Care Incorporated||Shoalhaven - Primbee - Wollongong - Kiama||$13,500|
|Galambila Aboriginal Corporation||Nambucca Heads - Coffs Harbour - Woolgoolga - Bowraville||$30,000|
|Gloucester Worimi First Peoples Aboriginal Corporation||Gloucester||$1,000|
|Gunnedah Meals on Wheels Association||Gunnedah||$5,514|
|Indigenous Futures Foundation Limited||Tweed Heads South - Lismore - Ballina - Grafton||$30,000|
|Ivanhoe Central School||Ivanhoe - Balranald - Carrathool||$6,100|
|Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Regional Health And Community Services||Batemans Bay - Narooma - Bega - Catalina - Dalmeny||$30,000|
|Kempsey Neighbourhood Centre Inc||Kempsey||$4,500|
|Leeton Community Care Development Incorporated||Leeton||$13,500|
|Lions Club Of Raymond Terrace Incorporated||Raymond Terrace||$1,420|
|Livefree Project Incorporated||Newcastle||$13,500|
|Miyay Birray Youth Service Incorporated||Moree - Mungindi - Garah - Boomi||$18,345|
|Moree Sports Health Arts And Education Academy Aboriginal Corporation||Moree||$5,723|
|Orana Support Service Incorporated||Dubbo - Wellington - Narromine||$21,000|
|Oxley Community Transport Service Incorporated||West Tamworth||$4,500|
|Queer Family Incorporated||Mullumbimby - Byron Bay - Lismore - Kyogle||$2,250|
|Salt Care||Ulladulla - Bomaderry - Nowra - Kangaroo Valley - Jervis Bay||$20,460|
|Sapphire Community Projects Incorporated||Bega - Tura Beach - Bermagui - Candelo - Quaama||$4,703|
|Seventh-Day Adventist Church - South New South Wales Conference||Bathurst - Blayney - Mandurama - Cowra||$5,600|
|The Heartland Foundation Limited||Port Macquarie||$5,000|
|The Mend AND Make Do Crew Incorporated||South Grafton||$6,750|
|Uralla Neighbourhood Day Care Centre 1||Walcha||$4,860|
|Weilwan Local Aboriginal Land Council||Gulargambone||$1,585|
Local community groups and not-for profit organisations in remote, rural and regional NSW are being offered grants to boost preparedness for future pandemics and other disasters.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the program, funded by the NSW Government, was established to strengthen groups that have played a critical role in supporting communities throughout COVID-19.
“These grants are being offered through the Resilience NSW COVID Regional Community Support (CRCS) program and are administered by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR),” Ms Cooke said.
“Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded toward regional capacity building initiatives such as those that attract and retain volunteers and staff, train to enhance governance skills, build digital capacity and create partnerships that foster stronger, more resilient communities.”
Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that regional organisations in NSW have gone above and beyond for their communities during the pandemic, especially when for many it was also on top of floods, fires and the mouse plague.
“Remote, rural and regional community groups and not-for-profits really stepped up in what were extraordinary times. We take our hats off to them for how they have persevered, especially in the face of so many challenges.
“The findings of our Heartbeat of Rural Australia study last year highlighted that many community groups were really fatigued and able to operate at only a fraction of their usual capacity. They were struggling to find volunteers and staff, and while many groups turned online, the digital divide that exists between urban areas and regional areas became really apparent, as did several other capacity constraints.
“This program has been designed in partnership with the NSW Government to enable community groups to address these issues and fill the gaps that became more evident during the pandemic. We know that every community is different, so it’s deliberately flexible and will support community groups to be better prepared in future,” Ms Egleton said.
To find out what can be funded through the capacity building stream, and to apply, visit https://frrr.org.au/ResNSW-Covid-Support.
Applications close 5pm AEST on Friday 29 April 2022.