SIX LOCAL NOT-FOR-PROFITS AWARDED $100K FOR SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS IN GRANTS PROGRAM

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Six Northern Rivers not-for-profits are set to enjoy their share of $100,000 in funding after being selected as recipients in the Northern Rivers Large Grants Program 2020, run by local independent brewery Stone & Wood’s not-for-profit the inGrained Foundation.

For the second year running, the Northern Rivers Large Grants Program 2020 invited Northern Rivers social and environmental not-for-profits with DGR status to apply for a grant between $10,000 and $30,000 and to show how their projects contribute to ‘regeneration and social connection’ – this year’s theme.

The ‘regeneration and social connection’ theme was partly prompted by the summer bushfires, and then social restrictions surrounding COVID-19, which led the inGrained Foundation Grants Committee to focus on the future of the local community.

The total funding pool also included a $15,000 ‘Employee Funded Grant’ created by the permanent team at Stone & Wood, who substituted their monthly carton allowance with a cash donation to the inGrained Foundation to raise the money.

Awarded a $30,000 grant, the Rainforest 4 Foundation will embark on a largescale regeneration project across fire-impacted Huonbrook, Wanganui and Upper Wilsons Creek, where the organisation will engage residents, landowners, volunteers and the Aboriginal Madhima Gulga bush regeneration team in mitigating the risk of future bushfire through weeding, planting and increasing biodiversity.

The Mullum District Neighbourhood Centre will put their $20,000 grant toward launching a nutritional food relief and food sustainability project for community members experiencing financial difficulty and/or social isolation, in which participants can connect and engage in food preparation together.

Tweed Landcare will use their grant to regenerate wildlife in the fire-affected area of Terragon in the Tweed Valley, which engages local residents and landowners in improving safety for local wildlife and installing waterers, nest boxes, hollows and sensor cameras for animal tracking.

Volunteer-led organisation Support for New Mums will use their grant to relaunch their volunteer home-visit program for new mothers without local support networks in the Tweed Shire, with the aim to reduce isolation and create connections for participants following childbirth.

Zero Emissions Byron (ZEB) will use their grant to part-fund their RePlant Byron’s Community Connection Project, which aims to drawdown carbon and reinvigorate local biodiversity by – with help from local Aboriginal firestick burning practitioners – preparing degraded pastureland for the planting of 3,500 locally grown native rainforest trees, which will be planted across two community planting days.

ZEB chair and leader of RePlant Byron’s Community Connection Project Vicki Brooke said she looked forward to the project’s social and environmental impacts.

“When community comes together to work as a group enjoying a shared experience of hands-in-the-soil, we see a regeneration not only of our once mighty Big Scrub rainforest, but also of the social strands of our community,” she said.

The sixth recipient, Autism Camp Australia, was selected by Stone & Wood’s permanent employees to receive the $15,000 ‘Employee Funded Grant’ to help the organisation purchase musical and play equipment that assists the development of young people living with autism.

Autism Camp Australia founding CEO Rachel Rowe said being backed by the Stone & Wood team felt like a bonus.

“We are super honoured to be the Stone & Wood staff choice,” Rachel said. “It’s really special when people get what you are trying to achieve and share that vision of hope and transformation for young people.”

inGrained Foundation director James Perrin said the Grants Committee is thrilled with the results from the Grants Program 2020.

“We couldn’t be happier with this year’s Grants Program,” James said. “We received applications from 55 awesome not-for-profits in our region, which certainly made selecting the recipients more challenging but also affirmed the amazing work they’re doing for our community and environment.”

“We are looking forward to seeing recipients’ different social and environmental projects come to life over the next 12 months and to hearing about their ongoing impact.”

Founded as a separate national not-for-profit by local independent brewery Stone & Wood in 2018, the inGrained Foundation works to generate and direct donations to grassroots Northern Rivers charities to assist capacity-building in the region.

For more information about the inGrained Foundation and the Northern Rivers Large Grants Program, visit www.ingrainedfoundation.com.au.