Small Grants Round 5

Small Grants Round 5

CCI Giving has supported 12 organisations through Round 5 of its Small Grants program. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a significant impact on charities helping vulnerable communities, which is why the foundation has connected with all short-listed applicants to better understand their unique challenges during the health crisis.

Jeremy Yipp is CCI Giving’s Chair and he says many organisations have had to suspend activities to keep their staff safe during the pandemic.

“We know that charities have already seen increasing demand for their support, and so having to reduce, adjust or temporarily stop activities is very difficult for the people they assist.”

He says that charities anticipate added mental health issues, more domestic violence, and greater financial distress in 2020 in the community, as a result of psychological pressure because of the virus outbreak.

“Job loss and social isolation will bring hardship for many, but especially for communities who are already doing it tough. Some organisations face logistical challenges in giving basic survival support to others while at the same time maintaining minimal physical contact. Their effort and ability to adjust processes while carrying on with their work is remarkable.”

The dramatic shift in circumstances prompted CCI Giving to look at all shortlisted applications through a COVID-19 lens.

Jeremy explains, “We needed to consider specific areas, especially change in demand for the support services being offered and the ability for the charities to carry out the programs they requested funding for.”

Each project was assessed to see if it could be carried out at all under the movement restrictions enforced by the government, or if it was likely to be delayed. The foundation considered additional and urgent needs absent from the original application, to see if charities could benefit from untied donations.

The full list of recipients of CCI Giving’s Small Grants Round 5:


St Canice's Kitchen

St Canice’s Kitchen provides basic survival support for vulnerable people, in Sydney’s Kings Cross suburb. The COVID-19 outbreak forced operations to close for two weeks, to protect the health of volunteers. New planning for operations will mean meeting new challenges. St Canice’s Kitchen is now open for a 3-day a week take-away service operated by virtual teams. There are 15 volunteers cooking at home, connected via online apps, delivering staggered drop-offs of food at the centre. Two site caretakers collect food and pack it into 100-150 lunch packs each day. Food is distributed for people to take away, at a safe distance. The Small Grants funding supports wages for St. Canice’s Kitchen caretakers.


St Mary's House of Welcome

St Mary's House of Welcome helps all people in need, even those who have been excluded from other services. Many homeless people in our community have complex problems and are at risk of falling through the gaps. St. Mary’s is one of just a few frontline homelessness services that provides showers in Fitzroy and surrounding areas. All group activities were suspended during the virus outbreak, but there is immediate material relief offered in the form of showers, hot beverages, triaging needs, and meals. The House feeds more than 100 people daily. With increased operating costs, it was necessary hire additional cleaners and well security guards to manage social distancing while continuing to provide support.


Presentation Family Centre

Presentation Family Centre (PFC) is located on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and provides short-term accommodation and respite stays for families affected by mental health issues and for their carers. All short-term bookings were suspended due to COVID-19, but the organisation has explored ways to offer medium to long-term accommodation people affected by the crisis. Six houses across 45 acres near Balnarring Beach accommodate 50 people. CCI Giving funds are helping to upgrade beds and furniture, improving the safety and comfort of guests while increasing accommodation capacity.


Mercy Community Services

The Romero Centre serves the asylum seeker and refugee community in Dutton Park, Queensland. They give essential practical support as well as case management to those in need, and legal advice, English classes, and provide people with referrals to other support services if needed. Mercy Community Srevices helped 1,000 individuals in 2019, and was recognised for its work with the 2019 Queensland Multicultural Award for Community. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered greater demand for food parcels for those without income eligibility for government support. Students from Queensland University of Technology assist operations to continue with contactless delivery of food parcels. The Small Grant will help construct shelving for food storage and other essential items.


Breakaway Youth

Breakaway Youth supports children and young people in Victoria who are affected by mental health, domestic violence and financial disadvantage, as who are from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds and are in need. ‘Fortifying Families' is a yearly family dinner event hosted by the Breakaway program and for individuals and families. Its purpose is to create an opportunity for people to participate in a normal, healthy family activity, and for many it’s a chance to create positive memories that support family cohesion. Due to COVID-19, the event is rescheduled for November in 2020, and contact between kids and families is being supported by phone and online / via social media channels.


Friends with Dignity

The organisation is entirely run by unpaid volunteers, who work with community partners nationally to support families facing domestic violence. It was recognised for Outstanding Achievement in the Australian Charity Awards in 2019. The Little Friends Scholarship was established to ensure all children have the ability to further their education, including accessing online learning, or be able to participate in extra-curricular activities they wouldn’t have access to because of the financial impact of violence within their family environment.


Dandelion Support Network

Dandelion Support Network helps families facing domestic violence who often have to leave their homes and belongings at short notice. The network often receives urgent requests at short notice. CCI Giving funds will help to support mothers who leave a violent situation and to have items necessary for the safety, wellbeing and development of their children. Dandelion Support Network works with a large number of frontline agencies in identifying who needs support, providing it and establishing impact. The Small Grant will assist in the support of 25 families who need to be removed from domestic violence situations, by contributing to the purchase of essential material goods and nursery items.


Autism Mates
BestMATES Animation, National

BestMATES Animation is an initiative of Autism Mates. The project is in the form of a puppet show that addresses bullying and the issue of bystanders in the context of bullying. CCI Giving’s support will help in the creation of an animated version of the puppet show that schools, especially those in rural and regional areas, can access online. It will also be available for use by teachers in schools.


Fusion Australia

The organisation is the only accommodation service for homeless young people on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Up to 50 young people live in a functioning family-like environment each year, gaining valuable skills and a sense of stability that supports them to develop an independent life. The program is delivered at an ex-army barracks in Mt Martha, with lead tenants that live alongside young people. Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, they are still accepting young people who have nowhere to go. The Small Grant will help to purchase additional heating, and internet costs during the pandemic.


Jireh House Association

Jireh House, in Hobart, helps those experiencing domestic violence by providing safe housing, counselling and assistance in planning a violence-free future. CCI Giving will assist the organization to purchase new bedding and linen, to improve hygiene and comfort for the families that stay there.


Community Care Incorporated
The refugee and asylum seeker program is an outreach ministry providing practical assistance to families who have children within the suburbs of Western Sydney. Community Care distributes free food (fruit, vegetables and rice), and personal and household items in conjunction with social support activities. They also assist people with family support, advocacy and referral work, and access to emergency relief services for families experiencing financial crisis trying to pay their utility bills.


Bamboo Projects Education

Bamboo Projects is a very small grassroots organisation and registered NDIS provider. It takes an innovative approach to mental health support by creating opportunities for people to connect, participate in and take responsibility for their interactions with others, through outdoor therapies and community events. The COVID-10 pandemic has meant that all group activities are suspended. Instead the group provides confidential support via phone or face-to-face for people who need it, and does so in partnership with referral agencies. They have witnessed greater urgency and anxiety among clients with existing mental health concerns, and need to fulfill a surge in demand for support.