Seed-funding available to improve education, training and employment opportunities

Focus on youth in Tolland, Kooringal and Ashmont Estates

14 August 2017:  Youth in Tolland, Kooringal or Ashmont Estates in Wagga Wagga are set to have access to a range of new education, training and job opportunities, thanks to funding from the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).

The $270,000 in grants is available through the Community Strengthening and Engagement Program, a partnership between FACS and the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR).

The program aims to unearth innovative approaches to some of the challenges in the Wagga Wagga social housing estates, explains FRRR’s CEO, Natalie Egleton.

“During a series of consultations with the local community, there was strong support for creating social enterprises or other initiatives that can provide training and employment opportunities at the same time as responding to community needs around safety, property maintenance, transport, and childcare / out of hours care in these estates.

“So, this program has been specifically designed to support local community leaders and community groups in developing real job opportunities for young people, sustainable services for the estates, and safer places for young people to grow, learn and thrive in the Tolland, Ashmont and Kooringal Estates.

“By working with local leaders and supporting locally developed projects designed to respond to the specific opportunities and challenges within the estates, we hope we can achieve some solid improvements and sustainable solutions,” Ms Egleton said.

Some examples of the kinds of projects that could be funded include:

  • Social enterprises that provide a means to engage youth in meaningful training and/or employment leading to opportunities in property maintenance (such as lawn-mowing and gardening), community security, community transport, and after school care provision.
  • Establishment of resident leadership and coordination processes that can support longer term planning and activation of resident ideas for improving the estates and which engage residents in their skill development

Grants are available for organisations that are either based in Wagga Wagga or have a regular presence in the community.

Applicants will be supported throughout the project creation stage and are encouraged to collaborate in the delivery of the project. Prospective applicants should contact FRRR on 1800 170 020 to discuss their project idea. Expressions of interest must be submitted by 18 August.

A workshop will be held on Friday, 1 September, with shortlisted applicants to explore the ideas and opportunities for further collaboration. Projects would begin in October.

These grants are part of the Social Innovation Fund program, which is supporting projects in Eden, Wagga Wagga and Kempsey.

About FACS

NSW Government Family and Community Services (FACS) supports vulnerable people and families to participate in social and economic life and build stronger communities. FACS has engaged FRRR to work with three NSW Districts, Eden, Wagga Wagga, and Kempsey, to develop innovative and community led responses to identified issues. The NSW State Government has provided $900,000 for this initiative, which will seek to address access to education, and youth employment, particularly for vulnerable children and young people, and strengthening community engagement, identity and pride.

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