A new barbecue trailer, to be purchased by New England Family Support Service, will continue efforts to support locals still trying to get back on their feet after the drought and devastating 2019 bushfires.
Armidale Family Support Services has been granted $5000 by Armidale Regional Council, as part of a community grants program funded through the State and Australian Government's Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund (BCRRF).
In total, more than $40,000 in grant funding was given to community groups across the shire.
Armidale Regional Councillor Jon Galletly said the barbecue was one of many important initiatives being supported through the Community Grants program.
"The one-off funding program was designed to help local community groups in their recovery and resilience efforts following the Black Summer Bushfires, and we had nine local groups and schools successful in securing a $5000 grant," Cr Galletly said.
"Council is excited to be able to support such important initiatives which are vital to building our community's strength and resilience during the tough times."
Ben Lomond Landcare will receive $2500 to complete a scoping study to improve access to the Ben Lomond Waste Transfer Station skip facility.
The Armidale Veteran Golfers Association will receive $5000 to buy a defibrillator and the training to use it.
Bald Blair Public School P&C Association is to be given $5000 to engage BackTrack Paws Up to visit the school each month to conduct a two-hour Positivity And Wellbeing Skills when Under Pressure course. In addition, Ebor Public P&C and Chandler School P&C will also receive $5000 each to run the same program at their schools.
The 2021 NSW Country Gymnastics Championships are expected to be held in Armidale for the next three years, thanks to a $5000 grant for the Armidale City Gymnastics Club to help them host it.
The Lower Creek LAC will throw a B&S Barbecue for their community with their $5000, and Armidale Community Radio will receive $5000 to install a 3KW battery system at the 2ARM radio transmitter.
Manager of New England Family Support Service Anne Rix said the cash boost would go towards supporting the organisation's Rural Community Connect recovery program run in partnership with the Mazda Foundation.
"We've purchased a barbecue and trailer that we can take to rural schools and small communities to help raise spirits during the tough recovery process," Ms Rix said.
"This new equipment will allow us to easily travel to those remote communities that can often be left feeling isolated during difficult periods."
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said the grants were just one example of how the BCRRF funding program was helping regional and rural communities get back on their feet.
"While COVID-19 is the current disaster, we cannot forget the many landholders across our region who are still battling the mental and financial toll of 'Black Summer'," Mr Marshall said.
"As we prepare for the next bushfire season we must reflect on the learnings from those fires, and ensure strategies are implemented that ensure communities, lives and livelihoods are protected.
"These grants support community-driven initiatives, providing local organisations with the programs and tools they know will make an immediate difference during future disasters.
"Through the BCRRF, governments at all levels are working together to build resilience and improve the capabilities of natural disaster prone communities."
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