Helping hand: Council supports community organisations through COVID
Published on 21 September 2021
Frankston City Council is directly supporting many local charities and not-for-profits with additional funding, to help them continue providing vital assistance during the pandemic.
This is in addition to extra funding for critical Council-run supports, including the Community Recovery Call Centre and Meals on Wheels service.
The funding comes from Council’s $9.128 million COVID Recovery Package — including $1.01 million to aid community recovery.
Over the coming months, the $1.01 million will go towards:
- Community Recovery Grants $100,000.
- Student grants program $10,000.
- Community Support Frankston material aid grant $500,000.
- Continued relief and recovery triage service (Community Recovery Call Centre) $150,000.
- Mental Health support programs $100,000.
- Meals on Wheels support $150,000.
Frankston City Mayor Kris Bolam said: “Supporting our local community organisations through the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been an integral part of our relief efforts, which to date total $9.128 million.
“Each and every one of our local aid organisations deserves our praise and ongoing support. Our City relies on their generosity and giving spirit to ensure help is there for anyone who needs it. Many of these groups operate on a shoestring and rely on the help of volunteers to deliver their services.
“Community support organisations do so much for us but sometimes they are the ones in need of a little extra support. I am proud Council has been able to provide a helping hand,” Mayor Bolam said.
Council has already provided over $581,000 in COVID grant funding since the start of the pandemic, enabling many vital local services to provide food supplies, hot meals, social connection, material aid, crisis support and more.
Mums Supporting Families in Need (MSFIN) responds to families in crisis with vital material aid, including clothing, linen, food, cots, car seats, prams, toiletries, cleaning products and other everyday essentials.
Last year MSFIN received a $2,000 COVID-19 Urgent Relief Grant, to ensure they were able to keep supporting 400 – 600 people each month.
Long-time MSFIN volunteer, Board Member and Acting President, Donna Cartwright, said it has been difficult for the not-for-profit during the pandemic with a limited volunteer workforce and reduced ability to fundraise in the community.
Ms Cartwright said: “Due to the generosity and support of our wonderful community who donate the majority of our warehouse stock, MSFIN was able to fill most orders from our partner welfare agencies fairly quickly during the pandemic.
“However, with all the lockdowns and our community not being able to get their donated items to us, MSFIN ran low on our stock of children’s winter clothing. The funding was used to purchase this essential stock as needed, which allowed MSFIN to work to its mission of ensuring no child goes without essentials,” Ms Cartwright said.
MSFIN receives no government funding to provide this much needed and vital service.
Ms Cartwright added: “MSFIN were grateful to put the $2,000 towards replenishing our stock of children’s clothing, to ensure that no child in crisis isn’t without warm clothes.”
The package has been a lifeline for many local organisations, including adult learning centre, Frankston University of the Third Age (U3A).
Receiving a $3,000 COVID-19 Recovery Grant enabled Frankston U3A to find innovative ways to keep engaging with their members during the pandemic.
Frankston U3A provides ongoing opportunities for the local senior community to access affordable educational, physical, cultural and social activities to improve wellbeing and reduce social isolation.
President Andrea McCall said the organisation adapted to deliver a mixture of communications to members using traditional methods, as well as newer technologies.
Ms McCall said: “We were grateful to put our grant funds towards zoom licences and upgrading our technology in order to continue to deliver our classes online.
“We try to keep in touch with those not on email with letters and phone calls,” Ms McCall said.
Frankston U3A remains a hub of social and cultural connection, continuing zoom classes with members on topics including philosophy, arts, music and current affairs.
For more information about U3A Frankston, please visit https://u3af.org.au/ and for details about MSFIN or to provide support, please visit https://www.msfin.org.au/
Many Council Community and Business Support Grants are currently open for applications. For more information, please click here.