The 17 community groups who received a share of $48,000 under Kempsey Shire Council’s new Community Grants Program were officially presented with their funding in Kempsey on Thursday.
The ceremony was held in the Council Chambers in West Kempsey with recipients presented with their cheques and congratulated by Mayor Liz Campbell.
The revised community grants program offers funding to active not-for-profit community groups so they can deliver community-led projects that benefit a range of age groups, interests and locations throughout the Shire.
Funds were made available across four categories including the Mayoral Community Fund, Environmental Levy Grants, Community Halls Grants and Sporting Grants.
Among the successful grant recipients was iCare, an initiative of the Macleay Valley Coast Christian Outreach Church based in South Kempsey which received funding under the Mayoral Community Fund. The group redistribute food and other goods to people in need in the community and rely solely on donations to operate.
Team leader, Moira Hodgekiss, said iCare plan to use the $3,220 grant to purchase a much-needed commercial fridge.
“We receive deliveries weekly from Foodbank in Sydney and our current fridge is way too small and doesn’t adequately store all the food we receive,” she said.
“We were more than grateful to Council to receive this funding. We’ve been hanging out for a new fridge for a long time.
“It’s enabled us to store lots of food and keep it fresh and continue serving our community.”
Hat Head Dune Care were a successful recipient under the Environmental Levy Grant category and received $5,000.
Coordinator, Peter Hull, said the money will be used for the ongoing eradication efforts of bitou bush and lantana in the sand dunes of Hat Head beach.
“We had to stop the program for a couple of years because we ran out of funding which meant that a lot of the weeds started to come back,” he said.
“We’re very happy to have received the grant because it allows us to continue the control program in the area from the vehicle access down to the boat ramp and the carpark area.’
In the Sporting Grants category, South West Rocks Surf Life Saving Club received a grant of $2,500.
The club’s director of administration, Vicki Thomas, said the funding will be used to purchase some new racing boards for the club.
“We don’t currently have racing boards and they are something we needed to get to continue training our older nipper age groups,” she said.
“Traditional fundraising to replace or purchase new equipment is an ongoing battle for us and was basically a non-event in 2020 due to COVID.
“We’re very happy to have been successful. It was a very welcome surprise.”
Overall, Council received 27 applications across three of the four categories, with no applications submitted under the Community Halls grants. Those funds will be reinvested towards the ongoing maintenance costs of our Community Halls.