Empowering programs to expand community support

Empowering programs to expand community support

CCI Giving is building a better way of supporting the community through its Small Grants Program. The focus is more than just giving, but about strengthening and empowering organisations who are working tirelessly to make a positive impact in their community. Investing in such organisations is proving to be one of the best ways to help people in need.

“When we support grassroots organisations grow their ability to address complex problems, we can empower them to scale local solutions,” explains the charitable foundation’s Chair, Jeremy Yipp.

“Helping a homelessness support centre to install an extra shower, means it has a tangible, meaningful and immediate impact. I’m very excited by these initiatives with clear community benefits that CCI Giving can get behind.”

Round 7 of the Small Grants Program has 12 recipients from around the country whose daily work is vital to sustaining vulnerable people through hardship and disadvantage. The projects are diverse and include initiatives to help children to reconnect and recover from trauma through a camping experience, a retreat for mothers and their children in need of respite following family violence and youth vocational programs that mentor and train at-risk teens to assist with employment. Other grants will support organisations to expand or enhance their facilities, or to trial new initiatives.

CCI Giving’s Small Grants Program distributes up to $150,000 to eligible charities yearly and is moving to a single grant round per annum. Grants of up to $5,000 can assist events or projects and up to $10,000 can support small capital works initiatives.

While the next grant round is scheduled to open early 2022, we encourage enquiries and conversation regarding relevant initiatives prior.

A full list of grant recipients is available below.


Round 7 Small Grant Recipients:

Edmund Rice Tuross Head Spring Camp

This project is designed to bring together children from the ACT and South Coast NSW who are experiencing significant and complex disadvantage. This camp provides a week of recreation and respite away from challenging home and school environments, and gives an opportunity for reconnecting children with siblings, improving social skills, and increasing connection to community and social supports. Feedback received from local referring agencies highlights limited opportunities for respite and empowerment for young people and their families who are also experiencing the impact of the 2020 bushfires COVID-19 restrictions.

Dedicated Women's Shower Pod

One of the many challenges faced by vulnerable men and women who sleep rough is the task of maintaining personal hygiene. For women taking a shower can be extremely daunting and a great challenge. Currently, Emmanuel City Mission has only one shower pod used jointly between men and women, 6 hours per day, 7 days a week. The centre receives an average 80 visitors per day. Installing a dedicated women’s shower pod will make an enormous difference to waiting times and give female visitors privacy and preserve feelings of dignity.

Truth Be Told

St Francis Social Services' Truth Be Told program provides a space for refugees and people seeking asylum to share their personal journeys and real-life experiences at schools, and in community spaces and workplaces. It trains participants in best practice methods to tell their stories, empowering them to speak their truth in public. Participants are then paid to present to organisations and community groups across Sydney. This program was significantly scaled back due to COVID-19, with presentations limited to just one in-person event and six online sessions. Funding will support the re-launch of the program in a COVID-safe manner, and train 10 new speakers.

Community Support Program

The Community Support Program equips Guests of St Canice’s Kitchen with practical skills and knowledge to support their aspirations of employment and training. Additionally, the course is designed to create inclusiveness within the community and build self-esteem and feelings of dignity. This grant will support a pilot program which will run for 10 months in four-week cycles, allowing entry into the course at any stage during the year.

DV Peer Support Group Retreat Program

The Foothills Community Care DV Peer Support Retreat offers mothers and their children who have experienced domestic and family violence a quiet weekend of recovery and connection. It provides much-needed respite and space to deepen connections made with each other through a regular peer support program. The women will engage in workshops to explore the evidence-based trauma support framework which provides a safe space to explore trauma from violence and supports much-needed work towards recovery away from busy daily life routines. 

Vinnies Women's Crisis Centre kitchen upgrade

The St Vincent de Paul Women's Crisis Centre provides emergency crisis accommodation to women, children and their pets, providing a ‘soft landing’ for women in crisis - including victims of domestic violence seeking temporary safe accommodation. This grant will assist with a professional and staged approach to improving the usability of the kitchen area, which is currently small and needs to cater to numerous residents with diverse needs.

Youth Vocational Re-Engagement Project

The Dismantleinitiative addresses educational and vocational disengagement experienced by at-risk young people aged 15 to18 years-old. The project will engage, mentor, train and employ up to 3 young people (selected from 10) over the next financial year. This includes BikeRescue for 10 young people (having 30 hrs of bicycle refurbishment and mentoring from qualified Occupational Therapists and Youth Workers), and Job Readii for up to 3 young people (receiving 320 hours of on-the-job training and case management). Case management is holistic in addressing individual needs to help ensure a sustainable future in long-term employment, education and/or training. 

Foodbank Refrigerated Sea Container

One of critical services for the Centre for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees (CARAD Inc) is a weekly Foodbank program that provides fresh food, pantry goods, personal and household hygiene items and baby care goods to around 100 people seeking asylum. This program has grown rapidly over the past few years, with offices no longer having room to store all donated items. This grant will go towards the purchase and installation of a refrigerated 20ft sea container with fitted shelving, enabling the organisation to safely store donated food and minimise food waste. 

All of Us Festival - celebrating inclusion and diversity

Dr Edward Koch Foundation is coordinating the “All of Us Festival – Celebrating Inclusion and Diversity” in Cairns during Qld Mental Health Week. The prolonged isolation stresses brought about by COVID-19 restrictions, and the resulting impact to tourism has negatively affected the community’s mental health and cohesiveness. This project aims to raise awareness of the importance of mental health while bringing the community together, and will include an outdoor concert, games, face painting, food vans. Mental health agencies will showcase what they do to support the community, building awareness of the resources available to support mental health. Income derived from this event support a mental health focused “Backyard Makeover Program”.

Sustaining Life

Circle of Friends' Rapid Response Circle 110, takes referrals from Refugee Support Agencies for immediate practical assistance and comfort to people who are very vulnerable. This grant will allow the group to continue providing fast assistance with rent and other household bills such as food, warm bedding and clothes: health care; public transport or help with registering and running a car; education costs; finding employment and other gaps identified where there is no other source of help for the most vulnerable.

My Breathing Space Place

The Byron Community Centre has developed the My Breathing Space Place program for women affected by domestic violence, or those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The aim is to provide a space for women to take a breath and prepare for the next step, with temporary accommodation for up to 8 weeks, along with wrap around services. Women in need of support are identified through the Byron Community Centre case worker and other connected networks. The community case worker provides intensive support to women during their time in accommodation to help them achieve their goals and through following a case management plan. 

Brisbane Connection Project

Baby Give Back helps families in crisis, providing donations via social service agencies and social workers who are qualified to assess a family's need. This Brisbane Connection project is expanding its organisation which provides an opportunity for Brisbane community to volunteer time in support of vulnerable children and families. This grant will go towards important items that community members need to process, clean, safety check and package pre-loved baby goods for caseworkers, midwives and other health professionals collecting for the local community.