Connected Communities Melbourne allocate grant funding

Connected Communities Melbourne have awarded almost $70,000 during their inaugural round of grant funding to seven community organisations.

Formed almost 12 months ago, Connected Communities Melbourne is an independent, philanthropic body overseeing charitable grants derived from 27 Bendigo Bank branches throughout Melbourne.

State Manager, Phil Jones, said the grant money was the result of the generosity of customers linking their Bendigo Bank accounts to Connected Communities Melbourne.

"Customers who choose to link their Bendigo Bank accounts to Connected Communities Melbourne have created a central, sustainable funding model for projects in their community," Mr Jones said.

"There is no change to the way in which customer accounts operate, but it does provide a very simple way for customers to support charitable activities,” he added.

Groups were able to apply for grants of up to $10,000 that focused on five key impact areas -  community projects (including arts and culture, community projects, events, sports); disability, health and wellbeing; environment; youth homelessness; and community safety.

Connected Communities Chair Melanie Raymond was impressed with the ideas that were submitted for funding.

"When we announced the grant funding, we created an open criteria to ensure that the most innovative and inclusive ideas were submitted," Ms Raymond said.

'This year’s recipients include palliative care for the Chinese community, mental health support for the entertainment industry, a local food garden and a program for recovery from domestic violence.

"These projects truly support the idea that everyone in our community has a part to play in building capacity and resilience at the grass roots level. We know that by encouraging civic participation and strong communities we are helping to underpin social harmony, collaboration and action," she added.

To find out more about Connected Communities Melbourne, or to link your accounts to the philanthropic group, visit www.connectedcommunitiesmelbourne or call into your local branch.