The Brimbank Community Fund last night awarded grants totalling $9,000 to two local charity organisations working with vulnerable Brimbank youth.
Established in 2009, the fund operates as a sub-fund of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, and is led by an independent committee of volunteer local leaders with the aim of supporting some of our most vulnerable residents.
Over the last two years the fund has distributed $24,000 to six local charities assisting young people with their education, employment and wellbeing.
Money donated to the fund stays in a secure trust fund and only the interest earned is distributed as grants to support local charities. This means every donation can help make a difference for years to come.
The Brimbank Community Fund Advisory Committee Chair, Barry Harvey AM said: “We always receive excellent applications for our grants from many deserving organisations. What stood out about this year’s successful initiatives is that they both creatively use sport and physical activity as prevention and intervention tools to combat many of the health and social issues facing an increasing number of our kids.
“We have high levels of mental stress, obesity and diabetes in Brimbank, so these projects are essential in working towards better health, social and education outcomes.
“On behalf of the committee I congratulate the award recipients, and look forward to seeing these projects achieve success over the next 12 months,” Mr Harvey said.
Brimbank Mayor, Cr John Hedditch said that Brimbank is a special place, characterised by a high degree of social, economic and cultural diversity – but like all places it has pockets of social disadvantage that the Brimbank Community Fund reaches out to support.
“The fund is a great example of passionate community members, local businesses, and philanthropic institutions creating long-term solutions to some of our most pressing issues in the community,” Cr Hedditch said.
The project provides an opportunity for young people aged between 16-25 years to improve their education, social skills, employment and well-being through sporting opportunities.
Some young people in Brimbank often face a range of barriers such as lack of education and qualifications, training, employment, social mental health, welfare barriers, family violence and a range of culturally specific challenges.
Sport is a great way of engaging young people at risk and provides an entry point into specialist services that can address other issues.
The B.O.P project will be delivered Friday evenings with the aim of preventing anti-social and criminal activity within the municipality of Brimbank at the weekends, whilst also promoting engagement in early intervention youth services linked to the Visy Cares Hub.
This early prevention project will focus on encouraging and supporting physical activity in playgroup and foundation aged children at Stevensville.
For children, participation in physical activity is associated positively with health and development. It increases self-esteem, social competence, emotional maturity and reduces the symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression.
The project will be delivered across playgroup sessions, parent focussed sessions and foundation student sessions. It will ensure that the whole family gains understanding and skills around the importance of physical activity.
For more information visit Brimbank Community Fund.