Volunteer groups in the Hawkesbury have received more than $20,000 in funding under recommendations from Federal Macquarie MP, Susan Templeman.
The groups successfully applied for funding under the 2019/20 Volunteer Grants program, which sees $66,000 distributed to help community organisations to support the efforts of volunteers and increase volunteering participation.
"I was really pleased to be able support our local volunteers with these grants, which have been used for everything from mental health and first aid training, to IT equipment, gardening equipment and tools, to fuel," Ms Templeman said.
"I was particularly pleased to be able to deliver $2500 to Feel the Magic, which is an organisation that supports grieving children, to put towards mentor training.
"I was also able to introduce Feel the Magic's founder, James Thomas, to the Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health, Emma McBride, via Zoom while we were in Parliament this month, and he outlined their ambitious plans for the future, so that more children are able to be supported through grief."
But Ms Templeman said $66,000 for volunteer groups was just a fraction of what was needed in the electorate.
"My office received more than 70 expressions of interests from groups with a value of $240,000 in projects to benefit the community," Ms Templeman said. "Data also showed that 70 per cent of these organisations have been unsuccessful in previous rounds.
"I have again written to the Minister for Families and Social Services to raise my concerns about the inadequacies in the nomination processes of the 2019/20 round of funding, and highlighted the important projects that missed out on funding simply because it wasn't there.
"I was inundated with eligible project ideas when I promoted the volunteer grants program in the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury, and as I explained to the Minister in February, this demonstrates a need to drastically increase the funding available under this scheme.
"I hope the government will extend financial support to those essential community groups in Macquarie."
Recipients of the 2019/20 Volunteer Grants Program in the Hawkesbury (Macquarie) include:
- Windsor RSL Sub Branch received $3440 for First aid training
- Feel The Magic received $2500 for Mentor training
- Mad Mob Aboriginal Corporation received $3440 for First aid training, TAFE and IT equipment
- Richmond Community Services Inc received $3900 for First aid training
- Hawkesbury Remakery received $3480 for IT equipment
- Hawkesbury West Probus Club received $2000 for IT equipment
- Hawkesbury Combined Probus received $2000 for IT equipment