$3m in grants to see young Victorians build back healthier

As coronavirus restrictions ease across Victoria, 280 local organisations will share in $3 million of funding to continue supporting their communities to reconnect and improve their health and wellbeing.

With a focus on young people, Reimagining Health grants will support more Victorians to access healthy and affordable food, reconnect socially and get active following the challenging and ongoing impacts of the pandemic.

Funded projects include:

  • Mzuri Dance and African Communities Foundation establishing dance classes for African Australian young people aged 6 – 13 years, creating a vibrant social hub for young members of their community;
  • Football Victoria expanding their MiniRoos Kick Off and GoLocal programs aimed at 7-12 year olds into new regional areas, including East Gippsland and Wimmera; and
  • Health Futures Australia‘s Young Growers and Healthy Lunch Kitchen program providing nutritious school lunches to regional communities in the Hepburn area, while providing employment to 16-18 year olds in their local community.

Minister for Health Martin Foley said the newly funded projects announced today as part of VicHealth’s 2021 Reimagining Health grant round, will see grassroots organisations, clubs and groups make even more of a difference to the wellbeing of their communities.

“Community organisations are the heart of our communities. It’s fantastic to see 280 of them preparing to deliver their creative, local solutions to support Victorians to socially connect, access healthy and affordable food and be more physically active when restrictions allow,” Mr Foley said.

VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio said local organisations, such as sports clubs, arts organisations and community gardens, were key to supporting Victorians through an incredibly challenging time.

“Protecting our health and wellbeing is more important than ever. We’re thrilled to partner with 280 innovative, locally-led and owned projects, which will support communities as we navigate the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 bushfires.”

Young people were involved in the grant selection process, providing them with a meaningful opportunity for their voices to be heard when considering projects that benefit other young people and local communities.

20-year-old Bronya Kondzior, a member on the advisory panel, said it’s important for young voices to be heard in decision making.

“By including young voices in decision making, it helps create a community that is for everyone. I look forward to watching these projects come to life, and with them positive and long-lasting outcomes for Victorians of all ages, cultures, backgrounds and abilities.”

Case study:

Among the grant recipients is the Care-to-Call project by Griefline based in Moorabbin.

Care-to-Call spokesperson and Griefline Chief Marketing Officer Louisa Smith explained that the Reimagining health grant would help establish a support network for community members experiencing loneliness and isolation.

“Our trained support volunteers reach out via phone to identified community members who may be experiencing loneliness and isolation or are at risk of loneliness and isolation.

“This funding will help to support people in identifying and building coping strategies and help them to reconnect with community, events and wellbeing support services.”

“Our project will have a particular focus on supporting those experiencing disadvantage in the community such as people with a physical disability, older bereaved individuals and those who are experiencing isolation.” Ms Smith said.

About the Reimagining Health Grants:

For a full list of recipients or to find out more visit www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/funding/reimagining-health-grants

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