IMB Community Foundation handed over $202,400 to 18 Illawarra-based projects on Tuesday as part of its 2015 round of funding.
IMB chief executive Robert Ryan and Community Foundation chairman Kieran Biddle held a morning tea at the Wollongong Innovation Campus to announce the names of the successful Illawarra recipients.
The projects ranged from helping feed disadvantaged families in the Illawarra to a robotics project for young people and a physical education program for people suffering from mental illness.
Since it was founded in 1999 the IMB Community Foundation has donated $7.6 million to 500 projects to communities in which it operates.
Mr Ryan said the IMB Community Foundation was an example of how the mutual business society helped people by supporting local projects, many of which would not get off the ground without such funding.
This year there were almost 350 applications for funding.
‘‘In the Illawarra region alone, IMB has donated more than $3.2m to the community since the Foundation began in 1999,’’ he said.
‘‘Every one of the projects has in some way assisted local communities and helped those in need and we are proud to continue this tradition in 2015.’’
Community Foundation chairman, Kieran Biddle said he was humbled and inspired by the dedication of the people involved in the hundreds of projects he had learnt about during the process.
‘‘There are just so many projects that make a huge difference to our local communities and I would like to recognise all of them and thank them for their contribution,’’ he said.
‘‘Every year, we have a very hard job deciding which projects we will fund and this year was no different.’’
Russell Fredericks and Lynton Nicholas were also recognised for their work over many years with the IMB Community Foundation.
Projects funded this year include:
- Strategic Community Assistance to Refugee Families (SCARF) – Young Refugees project.
- Rotary Club of Kiama – Mental Health First Aid Courses.
- Rotary Club of Wollongong – Purchase of a BBQ trailer.
- Shellharbour City U3A Inc. – Learning for Pleasure.
- Illawarra Drug Awareness Group – Life Education Illawarra truck.
- Strzelecki Lions Club – Cows Create Careers.
- Illawarra Robotics Team – The League of Relatively Ordinary Gentlemen.
- NZ House NSW – Need a Feed.
- Southern Youth and Family Services – Youth Training Café.
- St Vincent de Paul – Stepping Out.
- Lawrence Hargrave Centre – Celebrating the Centenary of Lawrence Hargrave.
- Illawarra Sports High School – Tech Savvy Students and Seniors.
- Woonona High School – Dance Studio.
- Dapto Rural Fire Brigade – Kitchen Upgrade.
- Raise the Gong – BRCA Genetic Support Group.
- Wollongong West St Centre – Beyond the Limits.
- University of Wollongong – Early Start Discovery Space .
- Wollongong Conservatorium of Music – Roger Soden scholarship.
Strategic Community Assistance to Refugee Families
The Project will develop and deliver activities to support and strengthen young people who have settled in the Illawarra as humanitarian entrant refugees and promote community harmony.
Rotary Club of Kiama Inc
Funding will contribute to the running of two free mental health first aid courses for the Kiama Community.
Rotary Club of Wollongong
Funding will facilitate construction of a community BBQ trailer which can be used at various community events, activities and functions.
Shellharbour City U3A Inc.
The Learning for Pleasure program involves holding courses that stimulate physically & mentally, social outings and informative talks on subjects pertinent to senior residents. All activities aim to reduce social isolation & loneliness.
Illawarra Drug Awareness Group Ltd
The program is delivered on-site at various primary schools and pre-schools throughout the Illawarra, through the utilisation of Mobile Learning Centres. These Mobile Classrooms are built like theatres, which enable our programs to be delivered in a creative, interesting and entertaining way at schools.
Strzelecki Lions Club
Cows Create Careers is a Strzelecki Lions Club project which was established in 2004 to promote the career and education opportunities for students (Years 7-11) in the dairy industry. These students learn about the dairy industry while caring for dairy calves on loan from local farmers.
Illawarra Robotics Team Inc.
The project involves designing and building a robot, developing community interest in robotics and introducing young people to robotics, maths, science and engineering through workshops at schools and other community facilities.
NZ House NSW - Need a Feed
Need a Feed partners with several organisations to provide emergency food relief to locals in need. They also collect food that would otherwise have gone to landfill and redistribute to local community organisations.
Southern Youth and Family Services
SYFS has recently built a Youth and Family Services Hub in Warilla. The Youth Training Cafe project will equip the large kitchen for hospitality, cooking and barista training and provide opportunities for young people to train and practice hospitality skills.
St Vincent de Paul Society NSW
The physical exercise program is targeted at people living with a significant mental illness, based on well-established links between poor mental health and poor physical health outcomes and life expectancy reported to be 10-20 years below that of the general population.
Lawrence Hargrave Centre
Lawrence Hargrave Centre has 22 events planned for the Centenary Year celebrating the achievements of Lawrence Hargrave and the ICF Funding to assist in providing these events for the community.
Illawarra Sports High School
Illawarra Sports High School students will visit local nursing homes weekly and teach local senior citizens how to effectively use iPads.
Woonona High School
An under-used classroom space will be converted into a dance studio, in order to benefit Woonona High School students and members of the local community.
Dapto Rural Fire Brigade
The funding will help upgrade kitchen facilities by providing a mobile serving/work bench and two new refrigerators for the kitchen in the Fire Station.
Raise The Gong
Raise The Gong, in conjunction with Dr Sian Greening, Genetic Counseller at Illawarra Health will be providing a support group to local women who have been diagnosed with the BRCA gene - which is linked to cancers such as breast and ovarian.
Wollongong West St Centre
The project includes the development and promotion of two specialised and accessible resources for adults, young people and children who are survivors of child sexual assault and support the wider community.
University of Wollongong - IMB Ltd Partnership
Funding has been provided to support the Early Start Discovery Space, a hands-on creative venue for children from birth to 12 years of age. The Discovery Space is Australia’s only dedicated children’s museum.
Wollongong Conservatorium of Music
The Roger Soden scholarship provides funding for a student at the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music.