Million dollar commitment to community groups

An after-school and vacation care program for disadvantaged kids, a free village-to-village shuttle service and an anti-bullying campaign are some of the many recipients of the City of Sydney’s latest grants.

The City has awarded almost $1.5 million in cash and in-kind support to more than 50 local projects in the first of two community grant rounds for the 2016-17 financial year.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the grants were a practical way to support the many community groups that provide vital services in the city.

“This is about building a stronger, more resilient community. These grants are going to projects that will help build the social, cultural, environmental and economic life of our city,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Every year we get around 700 applications for $13 million worth of funds from our wide range of community and cultural grants and sponsorships.

“Grant recipients play an important role in inspiring and engaging our communities and invigorating local businesses.”

The grants for the 2015–16 and 2016–17 financial years award a range of projects that benefit the local community and need support to get them off the ground.

Projects are chosen for their capacity to celebrate culture and creativity, support the economy and business, ensure environmental sustainability and build community.

A grant of more than $255,000 in cash and in kind will allow a village-to-village shuttle bus service to continue to operate. Jane Rogers, CEO of Access Sydney Community Transport, said: “The continued support of the village to village bus service is an excellent example of the City of Sydney’s commitment to social sustainability.

“The service enables all residents equity of access to free, reliable transport and keeps them connected to their city and their community.”

Matt Rule, owner of The Music and Booze Company, said a $28,000 grant from the City would help boost the live music scene in Sydney’s inner west.

“The goal of the King Street Crawl was to create a new platform to showcase live music and the arts, and shine a light on the unique corner of Sydney that is Newtown,” said Matt.

“The City of Sydney’s funding has enabled us to achieve this goal and extend the project into Enmore Road and Erskineville.

“As a result we will now be able to introduce more venues as part of the crawl – offering more spaces to showcase live music and attract more visitors.”

Other recipients of grants include:

  • A mentorship program in Woolloomoolo that involves male police officers supporting local disadvantaged school children through sporting activities and excursions;
  • A safe space offering cultural and recreational activities for disadvantaged young people in Redfern and Waterloo;
  • A pilot project to support deaf children develop verbal, social and emotional skills as they transition into mainstream local schools;
  • A multi-disciplinary arts festival in Chippendale featuring a variety of performances, installations and workshops;
  • A four-day rugby league festival hosted by Redfern All Blacks that will showcase Indigenous sporting talent from across NSW;
  • An accessible community garden in Reconciliation Park in Redfern;
  • Monthly clinics and an outreach program that provide free veterinary care for homeless people and their animal companions; and
  • A community art project to raise awareness about violence, bullying and racism to be displayed in Surry Hills Library foyer as part of Surry Hills Festival.

All applications are assessed against strict criteria to ensure the projects are able to meet the City’s objectives.

Grant recipients are also required to sign a contract, meet specific performance outcomes, and acquit in full their grant.

Round two of the City’s annual grants program will be announced later in the year.