City to help ‘small, simple, but important’ community ideas
Community gardens, art classes, neighbourhood barbecues and a book showcasing Newtown’s colourful shopkeepers are some of the projects to receive funding under the latest round of the City of Sydney’s Matching Grants scheme.
Nine community projects - including tours of the City’s thriving community gardens, a book about shopkeepers in Newtown, and a huge holiday barbeque for locals in Green Square - will share more than $40,000 in grants from the City of Sydney.
Grants will also be provided for community events aimed at Chinese pensioners living in social housing in Ultimo; a new community garden in Glebe near the St Helens Community Centre; picnic days and food workshops in either Centennial Park or the Royal Botanic Gardens; community art classes for local residents in Glebe; and Tai Chi and English lessons in Green Square.
One of those to receive a grant was Jeremy Martin. He said a $6,250 matched cash grant from the City was vital in helping their annual Green Square Christmas barbeque get off the ground.
“We started our community Christmas barbeque to help foster our growing community. I knew so many people with similar interests who didn’t know the person living next door to them,” Martin said.
“It’s been a huge success, when we held our first barbeque five years ago about 15 people turned up, but last year we had 600! I’d say around 30-40 per cent of people within Green Square have met through our community barbeques, which simply wouldn’t happen without the support from Council.”
Newtown photographer Nic Bezzina will use his $6,000 matched cash grant from the City to complete a book of portraits and stories of almost 100 local independent shopkeepers which he hopes will be ready by December to coincide with Newtown’s 150th anniversary.
“The book will be a little slice of history – you can imagine how great it would be to look back on shopkeepers 50 years ago,” Bezzina said.
“Things are changing so fast but Newtown is really unique and I think it’s a great chance to capture the community. There are so many great stories, tailors who’ve been in the same shop for 40 years and people are really keen to be part of something meaningful.”
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the Matching Grants scheme meant local residents and community organisations could be given a hand with ideas which may not otherwise happen.
“The City is helping small, simple, but important projects happen,” she said.
“From new community gardens, to kids cooking classes, film festivals and neighbourhood barbeques – the City helps fund new materials and supplies that match the hard work put in by dedicated community groups.”
Matching Grants are available all year round and ‘match’ contributions made by the community with up to $10,000 cash or in-kind support such as venue hire of City owned buildings.
All applications are assessed against strict guidelines and criteria to ensure their projects are financially secure and meet the City’s objectives.
The Matching Grants scheme was established in 2007 and since then has seen the City provide over $500,000 to more than 120 community groups.