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Wollongong City Council

Connecting Neighbours Grants

We know that connecting with people is difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we're looking for projects that help people connect with their neighbours safely.

Your activity can take place during current restrictions, or later as conditions ease, as long as you meet the public health rules in place at the time.

We're open to projects that are online, creative ways of connecting without meeting up, or face-to-face projects into the future.

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).
  • Follow current public health rules, and be able to adjust your plans to meet rules if they change.

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 in a COVID-safe way.

Activities can be held up to June 2022.

Some examples of projects that could happen during current restrictions include:

  • Holding an online trivia night, or online course with your neighbours
  • A treasure hunt that people can do individually through your neighbourhood
  • A socially-distanced costumed walk through your suburb.

As restrictions ease, you might also want to consider activities like:

  • 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 here!

If you're planning an in-person activity, we recommend thinking about how you might be able to adapt it if public health rules change.

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 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.
  • 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

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.

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 (before COVID-19 restrictions applied).

DateActivity
25 August 2021Applications open
27 September 2021Applications close

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