Boost for community groups

Worthy recipients of thousands: Community, charitable and sporting organisations were given $122,000 in funding from local clubs. Pictured are recipients along with club representatives.HELPING those who give so much to the community was the aim of the day at the Laurieton United Servicemen’s Club last Wednesday.

Six local clubs joined forces, as part of the Community Development Support Expenditure scheme (CDSE) with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, to divide a percentage of their profits amongst charitable, community and sporting organisations.

Last Wednesday $122,000 was handed out to more than 30 organisations from around the Hastings. In the Camden Haven these groups included: Camden Haven Scouts, Crisis Care – Red Cross, Police Trauma Support Group – Mid North Coast, Hastings Woodworkers Association, Riding for the Disabled – Wauchope and Kendall, Lake Cathie Landcare Group, Camden Haven Dragon Boats, Camden Haven Surf Club, Hastings Multiple Sclerosis Society, Lake Cathie Progress Association, Kendall Community Centre, Birpai Local Aboriginal Land Council, St Josephs Vacation Care Centre, Comboyne Community Association Inc and Family Drug Support.

Jack Jones from the Lake Cathie Landcare group, a recipient both last year and this year in CDSE funding, said the scheme had a flow-on effect beyond merely handing over money.

“The community groups granted funding cover the whole community in all sorts of ways: suicide prevention, drug rehabilitation and education, life-saving work to woodworking and so on. The good that comes out of it is mind-boggling,” Mr Jones said.

“And the people behind most of these organisations are volunteers. Last year the funding allowed us to buy new equipment to make our job safer and create better conditions for our volunteers and because of these good conditions we have attracted more volunteers which means we are able to do more for the community.”

John Bate of the Kendall Riding for the Disabled said each year CDSE funds cover the keep of one of their best-loved horses, Joe Black.

“This is the fourth year the CDSE funding from the North Haven Bowling Club has paid for the feeding and farrier costs for Joe Black for 12 months,” Mr Bate said.

“He is an essential part of our riding program, loved by many of our riders. We have eight horses out there and always looking for sponsorship for the others.

“We’ve also received funding from the Laurieton United Servicemen’s Club to buy a large handled-saddle which will mean more comfort, safety and stability for some of our larger adult riders.”

The RDA is always welcoming volunteers so for more information contact secretary Dianne Passmore on 6559 7037.

Sarah-Jane Oakeshott received a cheque on behalf of the Birpai Local Aboriginal Land Council and said the funds would help community elders from around the region get-together in an effort to keep the indigenous culture alive and passing down to younger generations.

“This is the first time the elders group has received funding. It will be used to coordinate the groups in different local communities gather together on a regular basis because they have such a wealth of knowledge and we want to create a meeting place for them to yarn and participate in traditional activities, record stories and work to develop more regular meetings. This will help the elders hopefully take on more leadership roles and mentoring young people, women’s groups and men’s groups and practise traditional activities.”

Former state MP Rob Oakeshott praised the CDSE movement.

“Clubs create great social meeting places and activities which generate funding for community programs,” Mr Oakeshott said.

“The CDSE program is something the government is always tinkering with but it’s an important program to keep alive and growing, to provide community groups with the funds they need into the future.”

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