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A year of impact

Over the past 12 months we have granted over $1.67 million to support Sydney communities in need.
Here are some of the grassroots charities we have funded thanks to your generosity and support.

Belonging and Wellbeing
Total Grantmaking $637,562

A Ukrainian women and her young child build a new life in SydneyPrograms funded across Greater Sydney included:

The Ukrainian Helping Hand Project (UHHP – photo) 
Funding received this year helped the UHHP to build capacity and hire extra staff members for their Welcome Team to further support young people from the war-torn country.

In 2023, the team has made significant strides in supporting displaced Ukrainians and fostering a strong and resilient Ukrainian community now living in the Greater Sydney area. Their diverse range of activities addressed critical needs, from financial assistance to mental health support. They also helped new arrivals secure long-term accommodation and assisted with student placement into school and universities, as well as organising cultural and social events.

Thanks to the funding received, the Welcome Team was also able to compile a report advocating for visa changes that would help Ukranian’s have access to work, as well as organising information clinics about possible visa pathways.

Education and Employment Pathways
Total Grantmaking $361,470

Programs funded across Greater Sydney included:

Young people receive tech training through the Reconnect Project

The Reconnect Project, Penshurst (photo)
Thanks to more than $130,000 in funding received via Sydney Community Foundation’s IMPACT100 Sydney Sub Fund, The Reconnect Project has been able to distribute 44 laptops to people in need across Greater Sydney.

“The funding has also enabled us to develop an accredited training program for young people,” says Annette Brodie, Founder and CEO of The Reconnect Project. “We have been able to employ someone to develop the entire course content and run two pilot sessions so we can refine as we go along.”

Our investment in Transforming Communities & Place
Total Grantmaking $23,832

Programs funded across Greater Sydney included:

Thrive for Boys, Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections, Warwick Farm
The Thrive for Boys program is designed for high school-aged boys, who participate in many programs throughout the year including cooking, building self-esteem and confidence. They also learn how to build strong relationships and keep active for their mental and physical wellbeing.

The boys also participated in the Stay Safe Program where they learned how to recognise bullying, abuse and other unsafe situations and react in ways that help build safety including learning self-defensive skills. The boys felt that the workshops were fun, informative, supportive and empowering.

Primary school students receive support to help them transition to high school through the Junior RISE program

Junior RISE program, Whitelion, Claymore (photo)
The Junior RISE program facilitated at the Alternative Learning School in Claymore is for young people in Year 6 and 7 who are identified as being at risk of a poor transition and engagement in school. Children in the program were commonly experiencing domestic and family violence, mental health concerns, child protection intervention and low socioeconomic status that influenced their capacity to engage in school.

The Junior RISE program provides targeted case management work with 15-20 families each year.

There are currently four primary schools and 38 Year 6 students involved in the Junior RISE program with plans underway to deliver a program for secondary school students in 2024.

Our Key Impact Fund is focused on building Safety & Independence for Women & Families
Total Grantmaking $637,562

Programs funded across Greater Sydney included:

Education & Employment
Work scholarships, Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections, Warwick Farm
The funding received helped provide scholarships for three enterprises: Pepper’s Place Library Café, Warwick Farm School Canteen and Rising Collective Boutique. All three enterprises received funding to go towards paying women’s wages.

Work scholarships in the form of salary top-ups ensured that the most vulnerable members of the community were able to access training and employment pathways in a safe, friendly and accessible environment. These programs work to increase the financial and emotional independence of locals and their families.

“The scholarship has helped me immensely. I have gained experience and knowledge, connected to people, learned new life and work skills and it has given me the opportunity to contribute to the workplace again. Thank you for the opportunity… it has enriched my life.” – Anna, Scholarship recipient.

A group of women receive training as part of the Community Support ServicesCommunity Support Services (CSS), Bankstown (photo)
The Sewing Circle program was created to upskill vulnerable women with sewing skills so they can provide for their families, as well as offering them an opportunity to socially connect with their community.

The funding they received from the Sydney Community Foundation has contributed to the recruitment of CSS’s Grants and Project Design Officer who will help secure further funding and develop a program design and evaluation framework.

There are currently 37 women participating in the sewing circle and CSS has also established a ‘Train the Trainer’ model, whereby four of the women who are currently working for Australian fashion design label Camilla are now helping to train other women to work there.

“Being part of the sewing group has helped build my confidence. Learning how to make bags for Camilla, I feel accomplished and it gives me great joy. I am in my sixties now and doing something I am passionate about will keep me going.” – CSS Sewing Circle participant.

 

Safety & Crisis
Connecting Women in Shelter to Work and Education, Bayside Women’s Shelter, Botany
The Connecting Women in Shelter to Work and Education program supported more than 10 women with work pathways during their stay at the family and domestic violence shelter. Each client worked with a specialist caseworker to support them with their trauma and assist them with financial planning and goal planning.

Three clients have found employment in roles they were interested in, while two clients have enrolled in the Certificate III Traineeship in Early Childhood Education and Care with one client completing her qualification and the other well on her way to finishing.

Since coming to Bayside Women’s Shelter, Lara* considered how she will meet the needs of her family into the future. The career work completed using the funding provided has been invaluable in helping her start her journey so she can be the role model for her children that wishes to be.

“The most difficult time for me and my son was to adapt since everything was new. I want to be able to work and be productive. I need to create a future for me and my children,” – *Lara, Bayside Women’s Shelter client.

ReLove, Botany (main photo)
In 2023, ReLove used their funding to help set up 281 homes with furniture and household items selected by clients from the ReLove Free Store. This has helped over 600 people, including children, to move into new safe homes. Over 74 per cent of the recipients are women impacted by domestic violence and/or homelessness and over 40 per cent are First Nations people.

“The client we referred was a mother of three small children and victim-survivor of domestic violence. Through the work of ReLove and the generosity of their donors, she now has a full house of furniture and a safe, comfortable home that she and her children are proud of.” – Caseworker from Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Centre, ReLove partner.

Staying Home, Leaving Violence, Weave Women & Children’s Centre (WWCC), Redfern
This year, WWCC used their funding to support a number of projects including the Staying Home, Leaving Violence program, supporting women and children experiencing domestic and family violence.

The program involves completing security audits for home safety upgrades which happens under the guidance of each individual woman. WWCC provided vital security upgrades including locks and cameras to keep 12 women and their children safe in their homes. WWC also supported three women and their children whose safest option was to relocate to new homes.

Inclusion & Wellbeing
Strive for Girls, Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections, Warwick Farm
Thanks to funding received this year, Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections has employed a worker to run the Strive for Girls group during the school term. Over the last twelve months the group has grown and now has 14 members.

Some of the year’s highlights included attending a Stay Safe self-defence program, ‘Healthy Eating Days’ where the girls learned to prepare nutritious meals for themselves, a painting workshop, and a Christmas excursion where they had a meal together in the city and participated in an escape room adventure.

“The Foundation’s Sydney Women’s Fund started this group many years ago so I really hope it can continue as it is growing every week. Thank you so much for all the wonderful support you give our community.” – Pat Hall OAM, CEO Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections

If you would like to support Sydney Community Foundations grassroots charities and partners donate here.

All donations $2 and over are tax deductible.

 

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