Proston organisation set to receive $60K in funding
PROTON’S newly-constructed men’s shed will receive $59, 972 for a fresh ‘fit out’, designed to increase the town‘s capacity to deliver activities and reduce social isolation in the community.
The funds provided will go toward materials and related costs, including connection to electricity, installing power points, lighting, water connection and internal supply connections, a small kitchenette and meeting room, an office fit out, and a disabled toilet and bathroom facilities.
An important place for the Proston community, the Men’s Shed reduces social isolation for its 23 members and offers a range of hands on and educational activities to engage in skill development, self-confidence, and engagement in community life.
The Men’s Shed received one of 41 grants for community led projects provided by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), designed to help tackle the challenges met by drought-affected communities across Australia.
The FRRR’s Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) grants program will provide these drought-ravaged communities with a total $1.5 million in funding.
The grants will support a wide range of initiatives designed to meet the needs of people in each drought-affected place and bolster community cohesion and resilience through creating supportive environments, reducing social isolation, and increasing community engagement in remote, rural, and regional communities across Australia.
Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead for FRRR, Nina O’Brien, said while it‘s no longer on the front pages, the impact of the ongoing drought continues to be “top-of-mind” for the FRRR.
“Despite recent rain in some places, we know the effects of long-term rainfall deficits don’t just disappear. It takes 18 to 24 months of sustained average rainfalls for communities to finally be able to move beyond the immediate impacts of drought,” she said.
“Most communities have had nowhere near this amount of rain – and many have had none at all, which is why communities still need support.
Ms O’Brien said this is evident by the record value of funding requests received during this round of TTTT grants program.
“The pandemic has added extra financial strain to communities already dealing with drought, adding to the pressure felt by many local groups, including very fatigued volunteers. Community cohesion plays such an important role in drought recovery and COVID-19 restrictions have only exacerbated the social isolation and disengagement that many of these communities have been working hard to tackle,” she said.
“In spite of the difficulties, we are inspired by the many local organisations that persistently work to develop the places where they live.”
“These groups are so resilient and continue to find ways to seed and strengthen, adapt and evolve, and innovate and renew their community.”