While future generations may not realise it yet, Sunshine Coast community groups, like the Yandina School of Arts and the Coolum Bowls Club work tirelessly to ensure their activities, facilities and heritage are kept alive and accessible for all.
Sunshine Coast Council’s most recent Major Grants have awarded over $930,000 among 112 volunteer groups to support projects, which will provide community benefit well into the future.
Sunshine Coast Council Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said while COVID-19 caused struggle within the community, many organisations have been able to focus on the silver linings.
“During a time of uncertainty and when organisations were forced to slow, rather than stop and give up altogether, many volunteers running community facilities chose to take the time to plan the delivery of great infrastructure projects,” Cr Law said.
“In the earlier phase of this pandemic, council had the foresight to set aside money to aid these grassroots community projects.
“This has now resulted in many great outcomes for the community, as well as delivering a solid and sustained injection into our local economy.”
The last Major Grant round for this financial year included some COVID-19 relief, in the form of reduced co-funding requirements.
Reducing usual co-funding requirements attracted a bumper number of applications, with 159 applications received across the seven application categories.
Nearly 60 per cent of applications in the Community Facilities category received full funding, with 47 infrastructure projects to progress.
Wendy Fifield from Coolum Beach Bowls Club said the $30,000 grant they’ll receive would be a huge help in boosting the club’s accessibility to both local community members and tourists.
“When business slowed down last year, we took time to look ahead and set plans to make our club more appealing to the greater community,” Mrs Fifield said.
“Major Grant funding from council will allow us to fix up the ditches and add safety handrails to two of our bowling greens.
“This means we can ensure greater safety and accessibility to both ageing bowlers and newcomers who partake in the increasingly popular ‘barefoot’ bowls.”
Yandina School of Arts president Daniel Weepers said the $30,000 grant they’ve been awarded would allow for essential improvements for this central community hub.
“With the grant funding, we can ensure the preservation of this beautiful building, which is such an integral piece of Yandina’s history,” Mr Weepers said.
“At the moment, we can’t run live theatre, we can’t host certain community groups, and we can’t fundraise or function to our full capacity.
“With the grant, we’ll be able to repair several exterior walls, along with fix cladding, windows and paint the exterior of the facility in accordance with the Heritage Maintenance Schedule.
“We are so grateful for the support from council as it means we can preserve the hall and keep it running for future generations.”
Council’s Community Grants Program provides support to not-for-profit community groups for one-off projects, events and activities that benefit the Sunshine Coast community.
Major Grants support eligible local community groups with funding up to $15,000 for projects (and up to $30,000 for infrastructure projects) in one of seven categories – Community Development, Community events, Community Facilities, Cultural Development, Cultural Heritage, Economic Development, and Sports, Recreation and Healthy Living.
To learn more about grant programs and funding opportunities for community organisations, please visit www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/grants.
The next round of Major Grants will open on July 19 and close August 30, 2021.
A full list of successful recipients is available on council’s website, www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/Living-and-Community/Grants-and-Funding/Funding-Outcomes.