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Final round of bushfire grants now open

Community groups in bushfire affected regions of Adelaide Hills, Kangaroo Island and Yorke Peninsula are encouraged to apply for the third and final round of bushfire grants to help people in these areas build connectedness, increase awareness and support each other’s resilience and wellbeing.

Grants up to $20,000 are now open and form part of a four-year $2.6 million Bushfire Mental Health Project, which was implemented to provide targeted assistance to those affected by the 2019-2020 bushfires.

“We encourage community groups to apply for the final round of the Strengthening Community Wellbeing after Bushfires grants” said Lyn Dean, Chief Executive of Wellbeing SA.

“Projects must be community-led, build connectedness, and increase the ability of people in the community to recognise and support each other’s mental health and wellbeing.”

The third funding round of the Strengthening Community Wellbeing after Bushfires grants will focus on building the momentum of previous grant rounds, with a focus on strengthening, supporting and protecting the mental health and wellbeing of bushfire affected communities now and, in the years to come.

“We know people can continue to feel the effects long after the initial event, and these grants are a way to establish meaningful connections and bolster community resilience, mental health and wellbeing, now and in the future,” said Lyn Dean.

Over the past two years, these grants empowered communities to determine the most effective, meaningful ways to find solutions that are right for them. Previous grant funding rounds have already rebuilt community spaces and playgrounds, created culture events, and facilitated sports workshops. We look forward to receiving applications for this final round.

As part of the $2.6 million project, the Connected Communities program will also see Wellbeing SA invest $486,000 over two years across the three communities, extending funding for a range of local community roles which were initially funded by Country SA Primary Health Network. These roles will continue to work on the ground to help facilitate local mental wellbeing and resilience building activities.

“On the ground community officer roles are important, as they help target at risk population groups and ensure that individual and community protective factors are addressed in readiness for future disasters,” said Lyn Dean.

This program is supported by a $910,000 co-investment from multiple partners including Junction Australia, Southern Yorke Peninsula Community Hub and Adelaide Hills Council. In total four Community Officer roles and a Youth Worker role will be extended across Yorketown and Kangaroo Island for two years, and a new Community Resilience Officer role will be established in the Adelaide Hills.

Applications for the third and final Strengthening Community Wellbeing after Bushfires grant funding round close on 29 July 2022.

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