THE Tasmanian Community Fund’s (TCF) COVID-19 specific funding round has been assessed with 28 organisations sharing in $3.29 million in large and medium grants.

Funding recipients include The St Giles Society’s for a Disability Innovator Hub and Colony 47’s clinical mental health support program for southern Tasmania’s most vulnerable young people.

Other grants were provided to the Australian Dental Health Foundation for the provision of free dental care to disadvantaged Tasmanians and the Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service for free legal support to migrant women on temporary visas who are victims/survivors of family violence.

TCF chair Sally Darke said that as the needs of the Tasmanian people continued to grow and change during the pandemic, the fund had adapted to meet the needs in this unprecedented time.

“The TCF introduced the COVID-19 specific funding round to assist community groups and organisations realign their work and adapt to the new normal because we know many community groups and individuals can help lead Tasmania through the recovery,” she said.

Principal lawyer for the Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service Patrick O’Connor said the purpose of its project was to set up and operate a legal clinic to provide free migration legal advice and casework for migrants who were victims and survivors of family violence currently on temporary visas.

“For many migrant women, a temporary visa status is used as a means to coerce them to remain in a violent relationship,” he said.

“The ability to access free legal migration advice can provide some women with the opportunity to leave a violent relationship and be able to access the safety and support they need in the Tasmanian community to live a life free from violence and harm.”

The Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF) took steps in July to assist Tasmanians during the COVID-19 pandemic calling for applications for projects which responded specifically to the impacts of COVID-19 on local communities.

Grants were split into three streams and were developed based on community feedback:

Support – supporting and meeting the needs of vulnerable people to ensure they are not left behind as a result of COVID-19.

Connection – creating spaces and programs/processes to enable individuals and communities to reconnect and rebuild the social fabric of communities.

Rebuild – providing individual and organisational capacity building including options for realigning work and directions for the “new normal” and beyond.

More than $200,000 was provided to small applicants with funding announced in October taking the total awarded in the Round to $3.5 million.

The TCF was established in 1999 following the sale of a community asset.

An independent funding body, the Fund provides grants to community organisations that enable Tasmanian communities to be vibrant, capable and resilient in shaping their future.

To date the TCF has provided more than $114 million to the Tasmanian community.

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