Inner West Independent

Council splash cash for community projects

Mood Active Program Participants. Photo: Samuel Thompson

By GEORGIA ROBINSON

89 community projects are starting the year off with a bang after the Inner West Council announced the recipients of the Inner West Council 2020 Grant Program.

Through the program the council is providing $500,000 in funding to offer financial support to a variety of different projects, such as arts, community and history, wellbeing and environment projects.

The process of applying for the grants program was simple, making it easy for projects to apply. However, only those which were aligned with the Inner West Council’s five community strategic directions received the grant.

These strategic directions were, ‘an ecologically sustainable Inner West; unique, liveable and networked neighbourhoods; creative communities and a strong economy; caring, happy and healthy communities; and a progressive local leadership.”

For the grant recipients, the funding will be critical in getting their projects up and running and making their impact on the community even greater.

Community Wellbeing

When asked how the grant will help with their project, Samuel Thompson from the 4 Week Wellbeing Workout said, “it will help a lot, for us, it’s always a funding battle, especially when we’re trying to get projects up and running, this funding will reduce our funding cost, and allow us to deliver our program at a very reduced cost.”

The 4 Week Wellbeing Workout was granted $5000 and is a program “that looks to use physical exercise to better manage people’s mental health.” 

The extra funding will allow the team to better market the program to a specific group of people.

Mr. Thompson says this program is important for the community because “it reaches out to people who might not otherwise have places to go.” It allows people to get back into routine, while bettering their mental and physical health.

He applauds the grants program and says it’s “a great avenue for small community groups to get funding for projects that can be really beneficial where otherwise they might not be able to get it.”

History and Heritage

John Winter from the 100 Project, a website which looks at sharing the stories of centenarians through videos which they film at home with their family, agreed. 

“I really commend the council for making such grants possible, I think it’s fantastic,” he told the Inner West Independent.

Through the work of the 100 Project Mr. Winter and his partner Rosaline Walker are able to “build up a really big number of centenarians, getting a real sort of sense of the history and stories of Australia through our oldest citizens.”

“It’s an opportunity for our older citizens to have a voice… [and] not only tell us about the past, but who we are now and where we should be going in the future,” he explained.

Receiving the $10,000 grant will help the project enormously, said Mr. Winter. 

“It is a labour of love, we’ve been putting in our own investments to make it up to now, so any assistance and help we get is fantastic”, he said.

Arts

The #IAmNotAVirus project provides Asian artists with a platform to express their experiences of racism as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic through art. 

Lena Nahlous, the creative director, emphasises the project’s importance in the community as it “creates a safe and empowering platform and opportunity for creatives to counter the stereotypical narratives that are often fodder for racism.”

The $10,000 grant will allow the project to expand its reach and “will provide 10 Asian Australian artists who live or work in Inner West LGA the opportunity to share their perspectives on COVID-related racism”, Ms. Nahlous says.

Ms. Nahlous feels that artists are often leaders of social movements and confronting Anti-Asian and Anti-Chinese racism through art will create important discussions in the community.

As the year progresses, Inner West residents will begin to see these projects come to life. 

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