Community groups are working overtime in assisting isolated members in the community stay connected, particularly the elderly and new arrivals.
The Victorian Government is coming to their assistance with new funding to help communities stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic through a new grants program to support local initiatives.
Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp MP today welcomed the opening of applications for the Let’s Stay Connected Fund, with grants available for community organisations, local government bodies, incorporated not-for-profits and industry groups.
Grants of between $5,000 and $200,000 are available to support innovative, community-based initiatives that build connection, reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation and that can be implemented quickly – providing much-needed support across the state.
The $1.3 million fund could potentially help community groups continue to operate by adapting the way they deliver programs or events, including through online forums.
Other possibilities include support for communities to improve their digital skills and access online communication channels, or new ways for people to continue volunteering within their communities while maintaining physical distancing requirements.
“This new program goes right to the heart of our community, giving local organisations across Northern Victoria the boost they need to make an immediate impact,” said Mr Gepp.
Applications for the Let’s Stay Connected Fund are open until 31 August and applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible at: www.djpr.vic.gov.au/lets-stay-connected