Community grants awarded to groups that support Hills community

Mayor Gangemi pictured with Fit Kidz Foundation Co-Founder Melissa Scaife and Service Director Ellen Witzlsperger.jpg

Pictured: Mayor Gangemi pictured with Fit Kidz Foundation Co-Founder Melissa Scaife and Service Director Ellen Witzlsperger.

Five community grants totalling $38,600 have been awarded under The Hills Shire Council’s Community Grants Program 2022/2023.

Events that support migrant communities, cultural connections, people with disabilities and a program that encourages young people to learn musical instruments are among the projects funded.

Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Peter Gangemi, said Council’s grants program supports community groups that enrich the broader Hills Shire community.

“The purpose of the grants program is to boost the reach and services of community groups within The Hills Shire,” Mayor Gangemi said.

“In this round of funding we have initiatives that are working towards raising cultural awareness, inclusion for people with disabilities and encouraging young people to learn musical instruments.” Mayor Gangemi added.

Initiatives receiving funding include:

  • Box Hill Nelson Progress Association – purchasing a portable data projector to effectively communicate with members of all ages and cultures.
  • Community Migrant Resource Centre – organising ‘A Taste of Diversity’ events which are open to everyone to better understand different cultures and meet the challenges of refugee settlement.
  • Fit Kidz Foundation – hosting a ‘Stronger Together’ conference to support local parents and/or carers of people with neurodiverse needs and/or a disability in The Hills Shire in August 2023.
  • Sydney Contemporary Orchestra – training the Sydney Hills Youth Orchestra and Junior Orchestra, which includes 40 rehearsals and two public concerts at the end of each semester.
  • Baulkham Hills Shire Netball – delivering a ‘Come and Try Day’ experience that aims to offer more opportunities for people with disabilities.

“The range of initiatives in this round is a reflection of the hardworking community groups we have within our Shire that are making a difference in the lives of so many people,” Mayor Gangemi said.

One of the initiatives that has received funding under the 2022-23 program is the Stronger Together Conference, which is run and organised by the Fit Kidz Foundation.

Fit Kidz Foundation Service Director Ellen Witzlsperger said Council’s program has been integral in helping them provide the conference consecutively to the community.

The conference, which will happen again following its success in August, is for parents and carers of neurodiverse children and adults. It aims to provide participants with vital information and give attendees the chance to network with local support services and other families.

“Council’s program has supported not only the Hills community of parents and carers of neurodiverse people, it has supported our organisation to raise our profile within The Hills Shire,” Ms Witzlsperger said.

“With an increase in awareness it means that we can reach more families to provide vital supports and just as importantly, it means we can open-up conversations about how we as a community can be more inclusive.

“The program has also enabled local services and supports to strengthen their connection, making referral pathways and services more accessible to families,” Ms Witzlsperger added.

The applications for 2022/2023 were assessed under Council’s Community Grants Program Guidelines within the Community Grants and Donations Policy by the Community Grants Assessment Panel.

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