The St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn has today opened applications for Stage 2 of Community Bushfire Grants funded by donations to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal.
“We are so grateful to Vinnies Bushfire Appeal donors for enabling us to distribute cash to assist recovery in bushfire-affected communities,” said John Feint, President of St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn.
“Stage 1 has allowed $308,877 to be allocated to 24 local projects. We look forward to seeing the difference this funding will make to communities that are still recovering from the Black Summer bushfires.
“Today we are opening the final round of applications to the Community Bushfire Grants Program to further assist recovery through projects with community-wide benefit.
“We appreciate that last summer’s bushfires affected each community differently, and local residents know their own community’s needs better than anyone,” Mr Feint said.
Ray Akhurst, Vinnies volunteer Bushfire Recovery Coordinator, has been providing support to affected individuals and communities since January and will oversee the grants application process.
“Our experience is that recovery is a long-term process and is best undertaken at the community level. These local organisations have a good feel for the needs of the community as it recovers from the bushfires.
“There will always be a need for individual support, and our conferences will continue to support people throughout this recovery process. But we recognise we also need a community-wide perspective on how best to recover.
“The nature of the project is very wide. We are not being prescriptive about the kind of project that comes forward. It may be infrastructure repairs, counselling, education or caring for country programs,” said Mr Akhurst.
This program from Vinnies Canberra/Goulburn, which provides services to the ACT, Queanbeyan-Palerang, much of the South Coast region and Snowy Mountains region, will stand alongside recovery initiatives from Vinnies NSW. The application process for grants outside these areas has been announced separately by Vinnies NSW.
Through the second round of Vinnies Canberra/Goulburn Community Bushfire Grants Program, $300,000 total will be provided through grants of up to $20,000 to registered community organisations, helping them to administer their own local recovery projects.
Successful applicants from Stage 1 of the Community Grants have been selected and will be notified this week. Unsuccessful applicants from the first round are invited to reapply for a Stage 2 grant.
Applications for Stage 2 grants are open now and will close on 16 October 2020. Interested organisations are invited to visit https://www.vinnies.org.au/page/Find_Help/ACT/Bushfire_Community_Grants/ to find out more and apply.
For more information about the St Vincent de Paul Society’s work in bushfire relief and recovery across Australia, visit www.vinnies.org.au/bushfire.