A big thank you to all our amazing local organisations, groups, projects and teams who participated in our Community Grants program in 2019. We received 48 eligible applications from all across the Northern Rivers and promoted each cause to the public, attracting over 2,500 online votes.
Each applicant had their own unique mission to improve our communities in one way or another, from educating and supporting our children to saving lives and fighting the good fight on sustainability issues. Whilst there are so many deserving causes, we had to decide on three to receive this year’s Community Grants based on the strength of the application and community support. Our three recipients were:
A non-profit organisation based in Byron Bay, Reforest Now grows and plants trees to combat climate change and restore ecosystems. The Reforest Now nursery is located in the Mullumbimby Community Gardens, and grows 23,000 native Australian trees each year. The nursery is currently at maximum capacity with three tunnels, and Reforest Now will use our Community Grant to build a 4th misting house tunnel, that will increase their capacity by 100% (an additional 23,000 trees per year) and meet the growing demand for trees to be replanted in our region.
Shedding Community Workshop
Shedding Community Workshop aims to provide a unique, supportive and ‘hands-on’ workshop environment for members of the community to come together and develop sustainable skills in carpentry, building and everything in between. A popular community workshop pilot already, this Community Grant will be used to meet the growing demand for, and provide equitable access to, a range of up-skilling workshops, inclusively benefitting all members of our community – young and old, men and women, parents and families. Our $5,000 will provide an additional 20 free community workshops, every Friday for a 5 month period, where members of our community will learn life skills, that will help create a connected, resilient and sustainable community
The SHIFT Project
The SHIFT Kitchen at Bangalow Heritage House is a community initiative that supports women experiencing homelessness and disadvantage in the Byron Shire. It aims to increase the health and wellbeing of women by increasing their knowledge and skills in healthy cooking, and increasing their employability. Our Community Grant will introduce a hospitality employment path that will provide professional training for project participants, including Food Safety Supervisor courses and Barista Training courses, along with the equipment to provide them skills to return to the workforce.
We are proud to partner with this year’s Community Grants recipients and we look forward to launching our Community Grants program once again in 2020.