Thursday, 12 July 2018
Writer Jo Antoni
Originally published in The Edition, vol 3 issue 3, July 2018.
Each year, CCVT awards grants to public benevolent projects of affiliated churches and agencies through a competitive application and review process. Through this support, CCVT can help address some of the community’s most pressing needs, including hunger, isolation, disadvantage, physical abuse, and substance abuse.
This year we disbursed $50,000 in grants. Pursuant to our grant making guidelines, recipients are affiliated with CCVT, and the program(s) must be a benevolent project. The money we award comes solely from the proceeds of bequests and managed investments.
This year we received over twenty pre-application enquiries which highlighted to us the courageous decisions affiliates and their people make to meet the needs of those less fortunate and marginalised in society. We wish to thank all applicants for their interest and submissions.
It is now our privilege and honour to share with you the news of the twelve successful CareWorks Grant recipients. Their submissions covered diverse projects and derived from a holistic approach. The content of applications demonstrated extensive knowledge of community needs, delivering defined data, symmetry of partnerships, clear mission focus with key priority indicators, and outcomes. Each of the grants awarded by affiliates is described below.
Bayview Church of Christ—Rosebud Secondary College Wellbeing Support Program
Bayview church (then as Tootgarook Church of Christ) launched a breakfast program at Rosebud Secondary College in 1999. The program, which is funded by Bayview and operates on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, provides 260 young people with breakfast each week. The RSCWSP will build on the existing relationships with students and staff by extending our church’s support to the school’s Wellbeing Team through the provision of a qualified Youth Worker one day per week. The project will primarily provide support to a small cohort of at-risk young people identified by the Wellbeing team. Bayview Team Leader Steve Sutton says, “We are so appreciative of the generosity of CareWorks for the grant, and we are very excited by the opportunities that may open up with the school as a result.”
Boronia Community Church of Christ—Community Meals
Boronia church has been a long-standing CareWorks partner. They will now be implementing a new initiative, adding a fortnightly lunch for socially isolated members of the community in the Boronia/Bayswater area, providing attendees with a community space where people can gather, build friendships and support networks in a warm, safe and friendly environment.
Castlemaine Church of Christ—Castlemaine Secondary College Breakfast Program
Castlemaine church currently helps provide breakfast Monday to Friday, and provides lunches too. The school identified a growing trend of youth attending school without breakfast because of severe financial hardship experienced by families. The church’s action is to meet the need. This program ensures that children receive a healthy start to their day.
Dareton Youth and Community Centre—Food Program
The Pathway to Sustainability Grant was awarded to the Dareton Centre to equip Indigenous youth with vital and necessary life skills such as food preparation and cooking. This program runs four times a week after school, providing healthy balanced nutritious meals which they do not receive at home due to family dysfunction.
Foothills Community Care—Hospitality Program
This program walks alongside those in need of a safe place to connect. Through providing a place of hospitality, belonging, and engagement, Foothills helps people address issues such as family violence, drug addiction, homelessness, poverty, mental health, and social isolation. For many who come from challenging backgrounds, Foothills is a source of dignity and hope, a place where people can feel safe, valued and important.
Fresh Theatre for Social Change—Fresh Ed Resources
Fresh Theatre is a not-for-profit organisation that works primarily with young people in crisis and their families, and in theatre in education. Fresh has five youth theatres throughout Victoria providing long-term support for young people in difficult life circumstances. In addition, Fresh delivers a multitude of projects every year in a range of sectors that are aimed at developing dialogue around issues that are socially divisive or difficult to discuss. Over seventeen years, this group has developed, honed and facilitated similar programs built in the same model, exploring a wide range of issues to empower young people to create social change in their communities. The focus is now to equip their partners with resources.
Friends of Dismas (FoD)—Ministry in Regional Victoria
Friends of Dismas seeks to support people as they transition from prison into the neighbourhood and hold them accountable to the community that surrounds them. The aim is to be a safe place where people can be heard but know they are not judged. Many have such painful stories and need to seek healing and God’s forgiveness in their lives.
Friends of Dismas endeavour to encourage attendees as they grow in their faith and live a crime-free life, offering them friendship and supporting them on their journey. The aim is for there to be ‘No More Victims’; a safer society.
Mildura Church of Christ—Groceries for Jesus Cloth Carry Bags
The Mildura church identified that plastic bags did not hold non-perishable food items satisfactorily. This auxiliary grant allows the church to purchase cloth bags to ensure secure transport of food.
Ringwood Church of Christ—Community Outreach
The programs provided by Ringwood Church of Christ in partnership with Eastwood Primary School include Breakfast Club, Kids Hope, and English Conversation Corner helping new migrants develop confident English skills. Oasis Meals, provided at the church, reaches out to people in the local community experiencing distress, hardship and social isolation. A food pantry and annual Christmas hampers bring tangible support and some cheer to homes experiencing economic distress.
Steeple Church of Christ—Mobile Café
An innovative initiative, Steeple Mobile Café will operate revenue producing activities in order for the church to meaningfully connect with and provide free meals and drinks to the homeless and disadvantaged in Melbourne’s east, extending the message of God’s love.
The Lighthouse Church on Well Street—Increase capacity to meeting growing needs
Recent ABS statistics report that Morwell is suffering from complex disadvantage at high levels. In this climate, the Lighthouse church has become a true beacon of hope to a growing need in this community by providing meals and a safe place to gather and receive support. This grant will ensure the appropriate capacity building infrastructure is implemented to meet increasing demand.
These projects, and other like them, are a few of the signs, witnesses, and foretastes of the Kingdom emerging from CCVT Communities of Hope and Compassion. The next grant campaign will be in 2019. Please be sure to check the CCVT website, Facebook and The Edition for further updates.
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