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Wollongong City Council

Connecting Neighbours Grants

Special program for verge gardens

We're offering a one-off grant to encourage you to get together with your neighbours and plant a garden on the verge, footpaths or nature strip in front of your home!

It's part of our city's Urban Greening strategy to plant more trees and gardens for the future.

Find out more and apply on the Our Wollongong website before 5pm, Monday 30 November 2020.


Our Connecting Neighbours Grants fund your great ideas to bring people together and make your neighbourhood a better place.

Your neighbourhood could include a street, a few houses, a local group, or a place where your socialise.

Applications for the most recent round of this program closed in April 2020.

To apply for this program you must:

  • Live or be based in the Wollongong City Council area.
  • Be an individual with at least two other friends or neighbours who support your idea (for grants up to $250) OR have a local organisation willing to support your project (for grants over $250 and up to $1000).

This program isn't for larger community organisations that already receive government funding. However larger organisations are welcome to support a community-led project. See the 'Support organisations' section of this page for details.

The activity you're applying for needs to be a new initiative that involves local residents and helps build connections between neighbours.

We're looking for ideas that do one of more of these things:

  • Help neighbours get to know each other
  • Involve people in neighbourhood activities, especially people who may be socially isolated
  • Increase feelings of community safety
  • Improve how the area looks
  • Build local skills or job opportunities.

If your project doesn't fit these areas but you believe it still meets the selection criteria shown in the next section of this page, please email or call us on (02) 4227 7111 for advice.

Some examples of projects that could be funded include:

  • Holding a BBQ to welcome new neighbours
  • Group training, art or exercise classes
  • Working bees or gardening
  • Social outings, such as for a group of isolated older neighbours.

Ideas can be simple, and you're welcome to come up with other projects not listed above!

Applications will be looked at by a panel of Council staff and an independent representative. They will then recommend projects to be approved by Council.

Priority will be given to projects that are not already provided in our Local Government Area by other community organisations, individuals or businesses.

Applications will be reviewed against the following seven criteria:

Applicants:

  • Must be based in the Wollongong Local Government Area.
  • Need to be community members with a shared idea, part of a community group, or representing a small community organisation (not a government agency or a large non-government or community organisation).

The idea:

  • Is a new initiative and involves local residents.
  • Connects people and/or strengthens the neighbourhood.

Funding:

  • Of more than $250 will be managed by an incorporated organisation.
  • Will need to be spent by 31 March 2021.
  • Up to $250 for individual community members with a shared project idea
  • Up to $1000 for projects with the backing of a support organisation. See the 'Support organisations' section of this page for more details.

How funding is provided

For projects funded up to $250, you will receive a letter of offer and be asked to sign an agreement with Council. To receive funding, you'll also have to provide an invoice to Council. The person nominated on your application will receive funds by cheque or direct deposit.

For projects up to $1,000, the support organisation and the applicant will receive a letter of offer and be asked to sign an agreement with Council. The support organisation will need to invoice Council, and funds will be provided to that organisation by cheque or direct deposit.

You need the support of an incorporated organisation to apply for Connecting Neighbours Grants of more than $250.

Your support organisation will need to:

  • Take responsibility for guiding the project
  • Sign an agreement with Council if the application is successful
  • Agree to cover the event or activity under their insurances
  • Invoice Council, and receive and manage the grant funds
  • Work with the project coordinator to write a report to acquit the grant.

Examples of suitable support organisations could include your local neighbourhood or community centre, a sports group, club or larger community organisation.

We may be able to help you find a support organisation if you don't have one for your project. Get in touch by email or call us on (02) 4227 7111 for advice.

We also welcome larger organisations that would like to be connected with a neighbourhood project to contact us.

Confirmation of support

For online applications, you will need to attach a letter from the support organisation that confirms they will take responsibility for the project and manage the grant funds. It must also clearly show the name, position, contact details and signature of the support organisation's authorised representative.

For applications using a hard copy form, a representative of the support organisation will need to complete and sign section 7 of the form.

We're happy to chat to you about your ideas before you put in an application.

Our staff can act as 'coaches' to help you develop your ideas, complete an application and, if needed, find a support organisation.

Get in touch by email or call (02) 4227 7111 to start the conversation.

Below are images of some Connecting Neighbours projects that have been supported in the past.

February 2020
  • Applications open
  • Application forms and guidelines available
  • Council staff available to assist with applications
20 April 2020
  • Applications close
by 30 June 2020
  • Successful applicants notified
  • Funds distributed
26 March 2021
  • Reports on projects due.

If you have any questions about Connecting Neighbours Grants, please email or call us on (02) 4227 7111.