By Michael Phelan
Published: Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Does your local community need a boost to get a vital project off the ground?
RAA’s Regional Safety Grants program could be the helpline you need, with funding for defibrillators, thermal imaging cameras and road safety equipment just some of the proposals backed in 2020-21.
Designed to help not-for-profits, schools and community groups improve safety in regional South Australia, the impact of this year’s program will be boosted by an increase in the total funding available for grants – now $70,000, up from $50,000 in previous rounds.
In 2020-21, grants were allocated to organisations across the state, from the Mid North to Mount Gambier, and the Adelaide Hills to Eyre Peninsula, as well as Broken Hill just over the NSW border.
Country Fire Service (CFS) and State Emergency Service (SES) units, community groups and Landcare committees were among the 14 successful RAA Regional Safety Grant recipients.
Watch the video below to see the positive impact funding received through last year’s round, has made to the CFS group in Strathalbyn.
Riding for the Disabled Association Yorke Peninsula was another of last year’s successful RAA Regional Safety Grant applicants.
Based in Kadina, about 144km north of Adelaide, this horse-riding therapy centre is run entirely by volunteers and caters to people of all abilities, from children aged three to adults.
Andrea Ford, Secretary for Riding for the Disabled Association Yorke Peninsula, says both clients and volunteers benefit enormously from the centre’s program, which helps build confidence, improves physical abilities and develops social, language and communication skills.
“We applied for funding because we needed to update our helmets,” Andrea says.
“Helmets have to be replaced every five years from the date of manufacture, and when you have eight helmets, that adds up to a fair bit of money for a little club.”
With COVID-19 making fundraising for key projects tough for smaller community groups and amounts between $500 and $10,000 available through RAA’s Regional Safety Grants program, Andrea encourages others to apply.
“The [Regional Safety Grants] are super important for all clubs,” she says. “They can really help get those extra bits and pieces.”
Peterborough Youth Centre, in the state’s Mid North also received a grant in 2020-21.
They desperately needed a new external lighting system to increase night-time visibility and improve safety and security for everyone who uses their facility.
“We saw RAA’s Regional Safety Grants advertised and thought it would be a great opportunity to fund one of our long-term facility improvement goals,” says Youth Centre Coordinator Nicole Lewis.
The grant has made a big difference. With the new external lighting, the Peterborough Youth Centre is a safer and more user-friendly space for the whole community to enjoy.
RAA’s Regional Safety Grants program has awarded more than $400,000 in funding to 128 not-for-profit organisations since 2013.
If you have a great initiative, don’t hesitate to make a submission. A little effort could make a big difference to your local community.
Applications are open until midnight on Friday, 1 November 2021.