Community events and initiatives that are focused on wellbeing will be eligible for a share of $5 million in grants, as part of the NSW Nationals in the state government’s $130 million COVID-19 mental health recovery package.
The COVID-19 Community Connection and Wellbeing Program will support projects that promote social connection, resilience and wellbeing in a sustainable, embedded way.
Nationals Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said COVID-19 has caused serious health implications, as well as significant social and economic disruption for individuals and communities.
“In addition to the health impacts, COVID has changed how we live and work, cancelled events and activities and prevented us from spending quality time with our family, friends and communities,” Mrs Taylor said.
“Research conducted by the NSW Mental Health Commission found at least four out of 10 NSW residents have experienced negative impacts on their way of life, finance, work or study, overall health, and mental health. There is a clear need for a social wellbeing program.
“This important $5 million investment will kickstart community wellbeing events and initiatives across NSW, to rebuild social connection and cohesion.”
Nationals Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the program will support greater social connectedness and build the capacity of individuals and communities to maintain wellbeing in the future.
“Disasters have a social as well as a physical impact on members of our communities, and recovery involves more than just rebuilding,” Ms Cooke said.
“It’s critical that we support the recovery process for our communities by making them more connected and resilient to the future challenges we will inevitably face.”
The program builds on the successful Drought Resilience Fund which sponsored more than 500 community led events over the past 18 months, attended by nearly 70,000 people across regional NSW.
Grants of up to $300,000 are available, with applications open until 2 May 2022.
Aboriginal community organisations, unincorporated community groups, charitable and not-for-profit organisations, councils and joint organisations, are encouraged to apply.
Three funding pathways are open to applicants:
- Pathway 1 offers between $75,001 and $300,000 for larger scale projects that will be completed within 22 months;
- Pathway 2 offers between $10,001 and $75,000 for smaller projects that focus on local needs and will be delivered within 12 months; and
- Pathway 3 offers between $1,000 and $10,000 for small projects or events that focus on local needs that can be delivered within 1-6 months.
$4 million will be awarded through a competitive funding round open from 28 March to 2 May 2022.
A further $1 million will be available to approved Pathway 1 projects for allocation at the 12-month milestone, where projects will be assessed against agreed key performance indicators. All projects must be completed by 30 June 2024.
All funding is administered by Resilience NSW. To find out more and apply online, visit: www.nsw.gov.au/resilience-nsw.