There’s a Hydro Tasmania grant recipient near you

10 August 2020

Communities throughout Tasmania are sharing in nearly $140,000 from Hydro Tasmania to target the ongoing effects of COVID-19 on the Tasmanian way of life, with local sport clubs, mental health programs, bathroom renovations, a cake stall and even a ride-on lawnmower among a wide variety of programs that will make a difference.

The COVID-19 Community Grant Program was opened for applications at the end of May 2020 and 29 successful applicants have received a total of $139,991.

One such recipient was the Launceston Benevolent Society, which has put its $5,000 COVID-19 Grant towards the creation of homelessness care packs, which provide a swag, sleeping bag, food, warm clothing and hygiene products to help people stay safe even while sleeping rough.

Launceston Benevolent Society CEO Rodney Spinks said they had already teamed up with the Rotary Club of Tamar Sunrise to create the packs and that Hydro Tasmania’s funding came at just the right time.

“For someone who may have lost their home or job, who may be facing any number of issues made worse by the cold of winter and the complications of COVID-19, it’s not an exaggeration to say these care packs could literally be the difference between life and death.”

Another recipient was the Hobart-based Sexual Assault Support Service (SASS), which used its $5,000 to buy new COVID-safe cleanable furniture for their consultation rooms.

SASS CEO Jill Maxwell said that Hydro Tasmania’s grant would help to provide a comfortable and safe space for their clients.

“Our service deals with people who are at their most vulnerable and the stresses of COVID-19 only make this worse, so it’s absolutely essential that our service can provide a welcoming environment where a survivor of sexual assault can begin their recovery.”

Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy said that the business is a major contributor to the state’s economic and social wellbeing, so its response to COVID-19 had to focus on the community’s needs, wherever they might be.

“We manage the state’s resources for the benefit of all Tasmanians and this is a time when those benefits must go quickly and directly to the people who need them,” Mr Davy said.

“In just a few short months we’ve all had our lives completely changed by COVID-19, and while it hits hardest in the most disadvantaged parts of our community, this economic and social downturn is also hurting people who’ve never needed assistance before.

“So these COVID-19 Grants of up to $10,000 are targeted to specific initiatives that will help rebuild communities and just one look at our list of 29 recipients will show you that help can take many forms.

“Many clubs and not-for-profits have been unable to do their normal fund raising events due to lockdown restrictions, others are finding ways to continue operating safely and sometimes even a small grant can make a big difference.”

These 29 COVID-19 Grant recipients are in addition to the 11 recipients from the 2020 round of Hydro Tasmania’s annual Community Grant Program, which makes grants of up to $5,000 available to each applicant.

In total, between March and July 2020 Hydro Tasmania provided $238,000 for not-for-profit organisations, which includes staff donations and expansions of existing sponsorships with our community partners.

The full list of the 29 recipients of Hydro Tasmania’s COVID-19 Community Grants is below.

  1. Devonport Cricket Club is upgrading its pavilion to make it available for hire, providing a good source of income for the club. A grant of $1,000 will help complete the job with materials for a new ceiling.
  2. People sleeping rough in Scottsdale can get a shower and wash their clothes in a new facility at Dorset Community House, with the help of $9,254 from Hydro Tasmania. Dorset Community House will also use the laundry to support the operation of its community kitchen.
  3. The renowned Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden in Romaine relies on its volunteers to keep the gardens growing, and they will soon be able to relax in their own newly constructed rest area, which is being built using a $3,000 grant for materials.
  4. Wherever they are, the Country Women’s Association (CWA) is the lifeblood of its local community. This is certainly the case on Flinders Island, where the Furneaux CWA is using a grant of $680 to create a cake stand, market and open day in Whitemark this November.
  5. Heaven’s Kitchen is an initiative of Gateway Community Care in Devonport, which will use its $9,049 grant to provide a series of mobile cooking stations used to deliver cooking lessons and meals for people with mental health issues and disabilities.
  6. George Town Neighbourhood House has been given a $5,200 grant for new computer equipment. These are essential tools for a wide mix of clients doing everything from applying or training for work to just interacting during social isolation.
  7. With hygiene now a renewed priority, the Glenorchy Golden Years Club will use its grant of $8,200 to upgrade the three bathrooms in its hall, which is used by many different community groups in Hobart.
  8. Since 1852, the Hobart City Mission has been caring for the people of Southern Tasmania and this grant of $5,000 will go to its ongoing relief programs, which have seen a surge in demand during the pandemic.
  9. The town of Jericho will once again be able to comfortably use its town hall for community events, after the Jericho Volunteer Fire Brigade secured $5,000 to fix the hall’s leaking roof.
  10. A $5,000 grant has gone to King Island District High School towards a new dining courtyard that will be used by students, staff and the wider community. Importantly, the project will be undertaken by local contractors on-island.
  11. The Launceston Benevolent Society is there to support people who are at their most desperate, with its $5,000 grant going to create homelessness care packs, providing a swag, sleeping bag, food, warm clothing and hygiene products to stay safe.
  12. Children living and learning through the pandemic are being given an opportunity to build resilience thanks to $5,000 in funding for Launceston City Mission’s Inside Out 4 Kids program, which addresses stress, grief and self-esteem issues.
  13. As social distancing continues to send people online, the Launceston Computer Group will use its $5,000 grant to enrich the lives of Tasmanian seniors by training them in computer use.
  14. The Melaleuca Home for the Aged has received $4,096 to purchase iPads for residents, enabling them to remain in contact with loved ones while staying safe with social distancing.
  15. The Mersey Community Care Association provides a much-needed mobile gardening service for its clients, which helps to keep people living independently at home. With a grant of $8,524, the association has purchased a new ride-on lawnmower.
  16. New Horizons Tasmania has been given a $5,000 grant to help keep Tasmanians with disabilities active and connected, with access to sport and recreation, and online classes in craft, fitness, yoga, meditation and dance.
  17. Reclink Australia provides sport, art and recreation opportunities for socially disadvantaged people throughout Australia, including rural and remote locations in Tasmania. Using Reclink’s $4,320 grant, Neighbourhood Houses around Tasmania will be provided with a sport and recreation pack, paired with online resources.
  18. The Rocherlea Football Club only recently began playing games again and is now able to invite members and guests back into the clubroom, after using a $5,000 grant to purchase plastic chairs that can easily be kept hygienically clean.
  19. Providing food relief for the entire West Coast is a challenge for the Rosebery Neighbourhood House, which will put a $5,000 grant towards a new community pantry, featuring increased storage, workspace and an outdoor area.
  20. Rosebury’s Mount Black Men’s Shed will start receiving some much-needed maintenance using a $5,000 grant, which will go towards roof repairs and heating to help keep the attendees warm and dry.
  21. The Sexual Assault Support Service in Hobart used its $5,000 to buy new COVID-safe cleanable furniture, for refurbished consultation rooms that provide a welcoming, comfortable and safe environment for clients.
  22. Young people and women from Sheffield are being encouraged to participate in sport and getting help with any financial barriers to participation, thanks to the Sheffield Cricket Club and a $2,500 grant.
  23. The South Riana Memorial Hall will receive a much-needed safety and maintenance upgrade, with $3,084 towards safety rails for the elderly and outdoor awnings for poor weather, making it a community hall for all.
  24. The Southern Touch Football Association has returned to play in 2020 after lockdown, with just a little help from a $308 grant, which has purchased hygiene and safety products for players.
  25. The volunteers of the St Mary’s Sports Centre can continue the upkeep of their golf course and bowls rink, and install a new heater in their clubrooms, with a $5,000 grant. It all keeps the facility open and operating for the benefit of the wider community.
  26. The replica Lady Nelson is a familiar site on the River Derwent and will continue to be after the Tasmanian Sail Training Association secured a $5,000 grant towards dry dock repairs, which will enable visitors and school groups to experience this piece of Tasmania’s history.
  27. Counselling services provided by West Moonah Community House will expand, thanks to a $5,676 grant for online video equipment to make localised online content on coping with anxiety using mediation and exercise.
  28. Lack of connectivity, intellectual and social activities have had a profound effect on elderly people in Wynyard, but the Wynyard Agricultural and Pastoral Society will use its $6,500 grant to purchase devices and provide training for its older members.
  29. Sometimes, all you need is a chance to get together with friends. The Zeehan Neighbourhood Community Centre has been given a $3,600 grant to provide free monthly lunches at the Heemskirk Hotel, which will be open to all community members.

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