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Connect and rebuild

THE Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF) has taken steps to assist Tasmanians during the COVID-19 pandemic by bring forward the announcement of its latest round of grants, and calling for applications for projects which respond specifically to its impacts on local communities.

The latest round of small grants totalled $180,000, with the funds distributed six weeks earlier to 17 community groups across the state.

Another $4 million is to be announced in June.

$3.5 million has also been made available to assist Tasmanians recover and rebuild from COVID-19, with round 41 grants designed to specifically aid in recovery.

Among the groups that received funding were the Lenah Valley RSL Sub Branch and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

Lenah Valley RSL Sub Branch project coordinator and welfare officer Peter Dane said the timing of the funding was perfect, as it was an ideal time to undertake the upgrades to the male toilets with the club closed.

“The money will employ local contractors, and with help from volunteering club members, will ensure the Club can continue to serve retuned soldiers and the Community for years to come,” he said.

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra’s chief executive officer Caroline Sharpen said the grant would be used to grow its ‘Growing Pains in the Arts’ program to facilitate a stronger connection between members of the Tasmanian arts sector.

“Growing Pains in the Arts gives participants skills to build relationships across the arts spectrum and help them to better collaborate and develop programs and productions together,” she said.

“The program is taught by specialist presenters from within the TSO and wider arts sector.

“This funding will allow us to provide the program to more Tasmanian arts organisations and reduce the costs for participants to travel and attend and give us options for online engagement to reach a wider audience.

“Among the eight modules we will be focusing on generating income, making work ready for festivals, the role of the arts in marketing Tasmania, how to engage with Government, building your donor network, and importantly in current times, health, wellbeing and self-care in the arts.”

TCF chair Sally Darke said having the latest round of small grants start earlier meant money was being spent in local communities, assisting Tasmanians get back on their feet sooner.

“Projects include storytelling to increase the understanding of the impact of domestic violence, new at an RSL club, leadership development for the arts sector, a recycling trailer for a pony club and safety equipment for the Wooden Boat Festival,” she said.

Ms Darke said the COVID-19 specific funding was introduced to assist community groups and organisations realign their work and adapt to the ‘new normal’ and beyond.

“The TCF saw the importance of a COVID-19 specific round to support communities to connect and rebuild,” she said.

“We know that there are those that still need support and we want to make sure that we are supporting communities to rebuild.

“We are asking the community to assist us to finalise our focus areas by contacting the TCF team and providing feedback so we can best shape our response.”

Small, medium and large grant applications will open on 11 July.

The Tasmanian Community Fund was established in 1999 following the sale of the Trust Bank.

An independent funding body, the Fund provides grants to community organisations that make a difference by improving social, environment and economic wellbeing of the Tasmanian community.

For more information, visit www.tascomfund.org or phone the Fund office on 6165 8333.

Caption: From left , Lenah Valley RSL members Peter Dane, Mark Jones and Peter McGee.