During the past three years as Member for Paterson, I have met with many community groups and schools who rely on an army of volunteers to do much needed work in our communities.
They consistently tell me that even small grants can make the world of difference to their operations.
It is wonderful to be able to announce a number of grants that these organisations can apply for to help them help others.
The Stronger Communities Grant Program can provide up to 50 percent of total costs for eligible projects.
This offers community groups a great avenue to commence upgrades to existing facilities or pursue new projects.
Expressions of interest for these grants are now open and close on August 29.
LOCAL SCHOOLS FUND
Another is the Local Schools Community Fund, which is now available to all schools in the Paterson Electorate - Government, Catholic and Independent schools.
This presents schools with the capacity to fund well-deserved programs and facilities.
Applications close on September 30.
For groups with a particular focus on environmental projects, we have funding available under the communities environment program, and this can fund small, community-led projects that address local environmental needs. Expressions of interest close on September 2.
Across Paterson, we have some very talented young athletes who are representing at state, national and international levels. It is such an honour to be selected but it can also be costly.
The Local Sporting Champions Program provides financial assistance for young athletes to attend official competitions in state, national or international championships.
If successful, applicants will receive $500-$750 towards the cost of attending their championships.
Sport is such an essential part of our lives promoting better health and expanding social networks.
I want to congratulate all the recently successful recipients from round one and encourage others to apply for round two now open, with further details available on my website. I thoroughly enjoy meeting our local sporting champions and hearing about their success.
My office is available to help with advice on a number of funding opportunities if you belong to a local community group and have a project or program in mind.
COFFEE AND A CHAT
"Coffee with Meryl" events give you the opportunity to pop in to a local venue where I shout you a tea or coffee and sit and have a quick chat. It's a great way to get to know you and what's important to you.
My next event is in at Weston Workers Club on Friday, August 23 from 10am to 11am. I will also have a mobile office in Kurri Kurri on Saturday, August 24 from 10am and 12pm at the Kingsway Plaza.
If you are interested in attending either of these events, or would like more information on grants, please call my office on 4983 2401 or go to my website, www.merylswanson.com.au.