The Grafton Black Tie Ball helped members of the Grafton U3A Men’s Shed. Image: contributed

Helping to empower local communities

Charities and not-for profit groups across rural, regional and remote NSW have long been at the heart of local communities, and once again, Essential Energy is asking for the community to help decide which local organisations need a bit of ‘empowering’.

Following a successful launch in 2019, the program is back to support the local groups that are part of the fabric of their communities, such as animal rescues, community centres, sporting clubs and school P&Cs who need some extra assistance to continue offering their vital services.

Local community groups across the Essential Energy network area are being encouraged to apply for funding of up to $2,500 through Essential Energy’s Community Choices program, which launched on Thursday 30 April. Nominations are open for four weeks.

Following that the community gets to vote for their preferred cause voting follows for two weeks, closing on Thursday 18 June.

“Essential Energy recognises that many communities are currently doing it tough. They’ve experienced droughts and fires and have probably been impacted by the health and economic crisis that is COVID-19. As an organisation, we’re doing what we can to support those grassroots organisations that support our communities,” said Chantelle Bramley, General Manager Strategy, Regulation and Corporate Affairs.

“Our employees live and work across regional, rural and remote NSW. We understand how important these organisations are for strong communities, and we’re proud to provide this funding and stand shoulder to shoulder with them.”

The program is open to any charity, registered not-for-profit or community group within Essential Energy’s network area and sees the public voting online for who they’d like to receive a share of the $175,000 state-wide funding pool.

The entire process, from nominating to voting, can be completed online, meaning people can participate while still complying with the current social distancing requirements.

2020 nominees must be able to receive payments by electronic funds transfer (EFT), and provide photos, commentary and stories about their organisations and the work they do.

Nominations for the Community Choices Program are open until 29 May. Visit essentialenergy.com.au/choices to learn more or make a nomination.

What they say:

 

Casino Community Men’s Shed
“Thanks to Essential Energy’s funding, we were able to purchase a scroll saw and a drill press. We also topped up our supply of nails and screws, sandpaper, paint brushes and drill bits,” Casino Community Men’s Shed President Paul Bengtson said.

“The funding really helped our organisation last year, with all the challenges we’re facing, we need this more than ever.  We’d love to see everyone get involved this year.”

 

 

Lismore Rugby Club

“Thanks to Essential Energy’s funding, we were able to purchase new sporting equipment for our players and repair our lawn mower,” said Peter Everingham, President of Lismore Rugby Club said.

“We also repaired our car park lighting, which with so many kids around in the late afternoons was paramount.”

“The funding really helped our organisation last year, with all the challenges we’re facing, we need this more than ever.  We’d love to see everyone get involved this year.”

 


Northern Rivers Dirty Wheels Mountain Bike Club Incorporated

“Thanks to Essential Energy’s funding, we were able to fund trail maintenance and trail building of our new trail “Your-Alba” at Duck Creek Mountain Bike Park near Alstonville,” said Pete Sugden, Secretary Northern Rivers Wheels Mountain Bike Club.

“The park is open for the free use of the public and is maintained entirely by volunteers from our club.”

“The funding really helped our organisation last year, with all the challenges we’re facing, we need this more than ever.  We’d love to see everyone get involved this year.”

 

The Black Tie Ball 2019 (Grafton)

“Thanks to Essential Energy’s funding, we were able to support the Grafton U3A Men’s Shed to purchase a dust extractor to ensure their working environment is of a high standard,” Emma Joseph, President of The Black Tie Ball association said.

“The funding really helped our organisation last year, with all the challenges we’re facing, we need this more than ever.  We’d love to see everyone get involved this year.”

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