General News

Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis pictured with the founder of the Mend and Make Do Crew, Ursula Tunks back in 2020 when he named her as his Local Woman of the Year. Image: Contributed 

Grant for Grafton Covid support champions

The Clarence Valley’s very unique Mend and Make Do Crew has been awarded a NSW Government grant of $6750 in recognition of its support of vulnerable locals during the COVID-19 lockdowns, Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis has announced.

“This modest grant is a Government endorsement of the group and should help defray some costs, but you can’t put a dollar figure on the support these very special people have given our community during these times,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“What they have done through the lockdown has provided enormous comfort for people in isolation and the focus on new mums through their collaboration with the Tresillian parental support charity is especially laudable.

The Mend and Make Do Crew operates in a studio in South Grafton. Its mission is to provide opportunities for social Inclusion through recycling-based arts & crafts as well as supporting other not-for-profits.

Ursula with some of the Mend and Make do volunteers who put together emergency care kits in the aftermath of the Black Summer Bushfires. Image: Contributed

The organisation worked tirelessly to support local victims of the 2019 black summer of bushfires.

That resulted in Chris Gulaptis naming Crew founder Ursula Tunks the 2020 Clarence Local Woman of the Year, an award she immediately said belonged to all volunteers of the team.

The grant was made under the Government’s COVID Regional Community Support program, which is still welcoming funding applications.

Grants of up to $50,000 are available for capacity building initiatives, such as attracting and retaining volunteers and staff, enhancing governance skills, building digital capacity and creating partnerships that foster stronger, more resilient communities.

For more information, visit the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal web site at and click on the Find Funding Now button.