In partnership with The Snow Foundation and the Bendigo Bank Community Enterprise Foundation, FRRR has awarded $470,670 to community organisations across the South Coast of NSW. These grants are through the Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program, which builds and supports the capacity of local not-for-profit (NFP) organisations.
IRCF is a multi-year program that gives NFPs the resources and connections they need to support one another and to establish relationships that allow them to collaborate to fill in the existing gaps in their communities. The program operates in the South Coast communities of Nowra, Ulladulla, Bateman’s Bay and Bay & Basin.
Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the FRRR team has seen an increase in the level of interest in the IRCF program.
“One of the key elements of this program is the road mapping process where we bring local leaders together to identify gaps and, more importantly, future opportunities for their communities. This is quite unique to this program and so we have really noticed during this round, that the engagement in the road mapping process increased as everyone involved has now developed a greater understanding of how it works and how much it can benefit their local communities.
“We also noticed that community groups and NFPs are taking a much more collaborative approach to finding volunteers after volunteer engagement levels dropped off as a result of back-to-back disasters over the last couple of years. This is wonderful to see, as this program is designed specifically to encourage community organisations to work with one another and to find solutions within their own area and network,” Ms Egleton said.
Terry Snow, Founder of The Snow Foundation which specifically supports Nowra, Bateman’s Bay and Ulladulla, said partnering with FRRR over the past three years has built stronger relationships within the South Coast communities.
“The South Coast is my home and given the challenges over the past few years, I have seen how bringing people together strengthens community. This is why the IRCF program is so good. It brings community groups together to work collaboratively and decide what they need and the best way to make it happen and each year relationships just get stronger,” Mr Snow said.
David Impey, CEO of Community Enterprise Foundation, the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s charitable arm, said they are proud of their partnership with FRRR and supporting the Bay & Basin communities.
“After what’s been an unimaginably difficult couple of years for these communities, it’s inspirational to see the community members coming together and working with one another as they once again begin to look towards building a more vibrant and resilient future. It’s this kind of dedication and willingness to support one another that will see the South Coast region thriving long into the future and that’s something that we take great pride in being part of,” Mr Impey said.
Some of the projects being funded are:
· Nowra Community Food Store Incorporated, Nowra - Planning for the Future - Define the direction of the organisation with a five-year strategic plan, operational business plan and HR framework - $13,000
· StoryFest Incorporated, Ulladulla/Shoalhaven - Fundraising for StoryFest school students - Enable the continued growth and success of StoryFest with a new website and marketing campaign - $10,000
· Rotary Club of Batemans Bay Inc, Batemans Bay/Eurobodalla - Establish and maintain the Batemans Bay Community Hub to provide information, resources and opportunities for local NFP organisations - $19,370
· Bay & Basin Community Resources Limited, Bay & Basin - Work, life and training Centre - Increase opportunities for youth to engage in training and employment with a project coordinator to establish a work, life and training centre - $30,000
You can find a full list of the grant recipients on FRRR’s website.
In addition to the South Coast region, the IRCF South Coast program is also working in in Junee, Leeton and Nambucca Valley in partnership with the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.
For more information about the Investing in Rural Community Futures program visit - https://frrr.org.au/ircf-program/.