Community organisations and not-for-profits are being encouraged to apply for funding under a new Palaszczuk Government grants program to tackle social isolation and loneliness in our communities.
Minister for Communities and Housing Leeanne Enoch said applications for the new Communities Innovation Fund were now open. The fund is being supported with $4 million over four years from the Palaszczuk Government.
“The Communities Innovation Fund is a critical part of our government’s response to the serious issues of social isolation and loneliness in Queensland,” Ms Enoch said.
“Through the 2021 Parliamentary Inquiry into social isolation and loneliness, and my own work with Queenslanders across the state, I’ve consistently heard that social isolation and loneliness are significant issues that will require us all to work together in new ways.
“The Communities Innovation Fund will deliver funding to a diverse range of projects, programs, services and supports across Queensland that will deliver community-led solutions to reduce social isolation and loneliness.”
Smaller grants of up to $50,000 are available for eligible organisations to conduct one-off activities or projects, with larger, multi-year grants of up to $200,000 per year available to trial promising interventions and evaluate them over time.
Ms Enoch said the Parliamentary Inquiry into social isolation and loneliness demonstrated that these are complex issues, with no simple, one-size-fits-all solution.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to supporting innovative, community driven projects that respond to specific needs where they are delivered,” she said.
“Our recently launched strategy, Communities 2032, lays out the significant work that’s happening right across Queensland Government to support communities to respond to local issues.
“The Communities Innovation Fund is just one of many examples of the work that is already underway to unleash potential within our communities.
“We want to support Queensland communities so that they can support every Queenslander to connect, participate, contribute and enjoy all the benefits of our great lifestyle.”
Queensland Community Alliance lead organiser Devett Kennedy said Queensland Community Alliance welcomes the Community Innovation Fund.
“We know that social isolation has been shown to pose a greater health risk than smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise,” Mr Kennedy said.
“Community led and community designed solutions are highly effective in this area, because it is about strengthening relationships and forming identity.
“We commend the Palaszczuk Government for recognising that with the Innovation Fund by investing in community leaders to develop and evaluate new approaches.
“We also appreciate the combination of short-term small grants with longer multi-year grants that will allow communities to get fully invested in addressing a deep and complex social problem.”
Applications for the Communities Innovation Fund close on Monday 27 February 2023.