Grants help wonderful volunteer work

Inspiring work being carried out by organisations across the shire to improve community wellbeing and address social issues was highlighted at the Bega Valley ClubGRANTS presentation which was held at Club Sapphire on Thursday, August 2.

The announcement of $65,460 to assist with the implementation of 34 community projects was in addition to $65,000 given by six clubs to support the Tathra and District Bushfire Recovery efforts this year.

The clubs donate under three categories, category 1 is the community grants program, category 2 is for individual grants that clubs chose to make to local organisations and category 3 money goes to the state government for larger projects.

CEO of Club Sapphire Damien Foley said that Bega Valley ClubGRANTS contribute $250,000 across all three categories this year.

The scheme is managed by Bega Valley Shire Council, but it is a shared state government and club industry program, funded by a gaming machine tax on registered clubs with gaming machine profits in excess of $1 million.

Deputy mayor Liz Seckold reminded everyone that per head of population the Bega Valley has the highest number of volunteers of any shire in NSW.

Six local clubs donated to the Bega Valley ClubGRANTS – Bermagui Country Club, Club Bega, Club Sapphire, Eden Fishermen’s Recreation Club, Merimbula RSL and Tathra Beach Bowling Club.

The chairperson of the Bega Valley ClubGRANTS committee, Robert Beuzeville, said the funding of the 34 projects would benefit a range of local community activities and consolidate the program’s exceptional history.

Some of the organisations and projects funded in 2018 include:

·         Bega Valley Community Forum - supporting and advocating for people who live with chronic pain.

·         Rotary Beekeeping For Life Youth Program - working with Bega High School’s special education students to develop skills in beekeeping husbandry.

·         A new music streaming platform developed for musicians with disabilities in the South East region.

·         Youth workshops held at the Eden Community Access Centre that use technology such as virtual reality hardware and video game software to teach young people the skills required to make video games. 

·         Little Wings Bega Flight Program - a transport service for seriously ill children and their families requiring treatment at the Children's Hospital in Sydney.

The full list of organisations supported by the Bega Valley ClubGRANTS includes:

Bega Valley Meals on Wheels, Bega Valley Parkinson Support Group, Bega Valley Suicide Prevention Action Network, Bermagui and District Lions Club, Bermagui and District Seniors Social Club, Bermagui Preschool, Bermagui Surf Life Saving Club, Connections Plus Merimbula, Wallaga Lake Bermagui Mens Shed, Bega Rotary, BowelCare Australia, Cancer Patients Foundation, Little Wings, Men of League Foundation, Panorama RSL Day Club, Road Safety Education (RYDA) Sapphire Coast Historic Vehicle Club, St Vincent de Paul Bega Conference, Chronic Pain Australia, Bega Valley Shire Library, Eden Community Access Centre, Eden Swimming Club, Eden Tourism, fLiNG Physical Theatre, Sapphire Community Projects, Southern Women's Group, St Vincent de Paul Merimbula Conference and Towamba P&C Association.