August 17, 2020

The impacts of COVID-19 have been far reaching in our community, and we believe that now more than ever it’s essential to support those most in need during these challenging times, as we all face the social and economic challenges of this pandemic.

For this reason, we announced a change to our latest round of Community Support Funding, refocusing our investment efforts to those organisations providing critical support services to our local community during this time. We postponed the March round of CSP funding and redirected our focus to support community partners impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, seeing the demand on their services significantly increase during these difficult times.

We have provided $145,000 to 12 amazing organisations providing social welfare programs such as mental health services and the supply of essential supplies to the vulnerable and disadvantaged. Many of these community groups have seen their fundraising activities restricted for an indefinite period of time, thereby having limited form of income when their services are most needed.

We are excited to announce that the recipients of the funding include the following organisation:

Soul Café – Soul Cafe was established in August 2003 to serve hot meals free of charge to the disadvantaged in the Newcastle region. Today, Soul Cafe provides hundreds of free sit down and take away meals each week to members of the Newcastle community. Their ultimate goal however is to see vulnerable cafe guests placed on a path towards increased safety, health and purpose. They aim to lift the standard of living for a group of less fortunate p. NCIG’s support will assist Soul Café to continue to provide their essential services to the vulnerable during these difficult times.

Newcastle Meals on Wheels – Newcastle Meals on Wheels helps make it possible for people to stay independent in their own home by preparing and delivering meals to those who are unable to do it themselves. We are pleased to be able to provide the Mayfield Meals on Wheels funding to assist with the replacement of the broken cool room.

Zara’s House – Zara’s House is a place where everyone feels welcome – where refugee women meet Australian women, to share hospitality, ideas, culture, learning and local opportunities. Funding in this round of support will go towards undertaking essential maintenance to the centre and supporting disadvantaged families who are struggling financially during these challenging times.

Lifeline – Lifeline is a national charity providing Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. They’re committed to empowering Australians to be suicide-safe through connection, compassion and hope. Their vision is for an Australia free of suicide. Additional support will assist Lifeline to continue to provide support through virtual forums as we see an increase in demand for their services in the region.

Jenny’s Place – Since 1977, Jenny’s Place has been helping women and children in the Newcastle area to live safely. They help those who are victims of domestic violence or who face homelessness. We are pleased to be able to provide Jenny’s place with essential PPE to continue their services through the pandemic. Funding will also allow Jenny’s place to increase their services as demand is unfortunately likely to continue increase over the coming months.

Got Your Back Sista – The registered charitable arm of The Sista Code movement, Got Your Back Sista’s vision is to see women and their children happy, thriving and living independently after escaping the trauma of domestic violence. Additional funding will allow the organisation to provide additional services to their clients, including remote counselling.

Hunter Region Botanic Gardens – The Gardens has undertaken a “Garden Volunteers Staying Social” project. This project will allow volunteers and the community to remain engaged during this challenging time to ensure they are socially active and still a part of the team. NCIG is happy to be able to cover the cost of the organisation’s internet services to help keep the volunteers socially connected.

Fern Bay & Stockton Public School – Schools in general have seen their whole landscape turned upside down during this pandemic. Funding will go towards iPads and computers to support the transition for primary school children to learn from home where required.

Purchase of WiFi Units for Seafarers – Two portable WiFI units have been purchased during this round of the community support program to provide seafarers with the ability to connect with loved ones from home while at the Port.

Hunter Women’s Centre – Hunter Women’s Centre is a non-government, not-for-profit, community-based organisation who provides services to improve the health and well-being of the women in the Hunter. The centre is run by women for women, has been operating for over 40 years and prioritises services for women who are marginalised, experiencing disadvantage or having difficulty in accessing services elsewhere. Additional funding will allow the centre to provide additional services to women in need over the coming months.

Variety – Variety Australia, the children’s charity, help Aussie kids who may be sick or disadvantaged, with a wide range of support. Funding has been provided to the organisation’s ‘Tech for Kids’ grant program. These grants have provided disadvantaged families in the Hunter Region with Laptop packages to allow children to continue their schoolwork from home.

We look forward to sharing positive stories highlighting the invaluable work each of these organisations provide to the local community, particularly during these difficult times for many.