Foothills Community Care and Mountain District Learning Centre have been awarded grants to tackle local issues that impact on crime and safety in Ferntree Gully.
Knox Mayor, Cr Marcia Timmers-Leitch congratulated the first two grant recipients under the Knox Empowering Communities program. Foothills Community Care received $207,355 and Mountain District Learning Centre received $46,500.
“A total of $467,000 has been made available to engage Ferntree Gully residents to address some of the underlying causes of crime and community safety issues and support local solutions in community-led projects,” Cr Timmers-Leitch said. “We are looking forward to announcing more worthy grant recipients in future.”
Foothills Community Care CEO Stephen Barrington said the funding would be used for an 18-month pilot program aiming to improve experiences of safety and community connection in Ferntree Gully Village.
“Our pilot program is about engaging with local residents, shopkeepers, community groups, service organisations and police, and bringing people together so that they can hear from each other and develop some programs,” he said.
“Our motto is ‘Everyone is welcome at our table’ and that’s what we’re looking to do with this project – create safe spaces for everyone.”
Mountain District Learning Centre received their grant to provide activities and experiences for young people outside school hours and during holidays.
CEO Janet Claringbold said the project will support the social, emotional and educational development of young people in the centre’s Cottage Program, who have co-designed the activities.
“The funding will help build the capacity of young people to connect with their communities through activities and excursions within the community and further afield,” she said.
“This is to give them opportunities in a safe environment to go out and explore the world with other people they feel safe with.”
The Knox Empowering Communities projects are funded by the Victorian Government’s Empowering Communities initiative as part of the Building Safer Communities Program.