Lake Mac community funding program provides relief in wake of COVID-19

Published on 10 July 2020

Sue Cook, Rochelle Mellows, Prue Hughes and Mayor Kay Fraser  (3).JPG

 Lake Macquarie City Council will channel $100,000 into local community groups to help drive the City’s economic and social recovery from COVID-19.

Individual COVID-19 Community Funding Program grants ranging from $800 to $5000 have been awarded to a total 28 community groups, clubs and other organisations.

Among the recipients are Community Activities Lake Macquarie, which will use its $5000 grant to provide food vouchers and prepaid data to families who experienced financial strain as a result of COVID-19.

Manager People and Purpose at Community Activities Lake Macquarie, Prue Hughes recognised the importance of supporting the community during COVID-19.

“We greatly appreciate the funding provided by Council and it will allow us to provide greater support to the community. It will help us supply much needed essentials to families, such as food vouchers and prepaid mobile and internet data to lessen the financial burden of COVID-19,” Ms Hughes said.

Other projects funded under the grants range from counselling at Swansea Community Cottage for people dealing with COVID-19-related anxiety, the purchasing of laptops to deliver classes to seniors isolated by COVID-19 by Eastlakes U3A and the installation of hand sanitising and sneeze guards at Cameron Park Community Centre.

Manager Community Partnerships Andrew Bryant said the diversity of projects demonstrated the broad range of needs throughout the community in the wake of the pandemic.

Council received 55 applications for funding when it called for expressions of interest earlier this year.

Each was assessed to ensure the proposed activity or project:

  • Was in response to increased pressures from COVID-19
  • Met the needs of Lake Macquarie’s most vulnerable
  • Delivered ongoing benefits
  • Was delivered within a set timeframe

“The entire process was expedited to deliver financial support as quickly as possible during this challenging period,” Mr Bryant said.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Cr Kay Fraser said she looked forward to seeing the benefits flowing throughout the community from the 28 grants.

“These grants will provide a very real, direct benefit to organisations and people in Lake Mac who need it most,” Cr Fraser said.

The Community Funding Program is among a raft of Council initiatives launched to offset the effects of COVID-19 in Lake Macquarie.

The initiatives include a reduction in fees for sporting clubs for the 2020 winter season, an expansion of Council’s Financial Hardship Assistance Policy and a reduction in rent at eligible Council-owned properties.

COVID-19 Community Funding Program grant recipients

Organisation name

Project description



1st Swansea Scout Group (The Scout Association of Australia New South Wales Branch)

Purchase of computers, laptops and modem/router to maintain documentation and facilitate training of members



Baptist care Hope street

Purchase of beanies, hygiene and sanitary products, food and food vouchers for distribution



Belmont Community Care

Purchase of freezer and other equipment to assist with increased food distribution.



Belmont Community Child Care Centre

16-week program to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of children who are displaying anxieties as a result of COVID-19



Blackalls Park Preschool

Yoga/mindfulness program for children who are displaying anxieties as a result of COVID-19

Blackalls Park


Catholic Care Social Services Hunter- Manning

Providing meals to those who are socially isolated and marginalised



Community Activities Lake Macquarie

Providing food vouchers and prepaid data to families receiving support to help reduce some of the financial strain as a result of COVID-19



Dress for Success

Provision of a 'pack and send' virtual styling service for women seeking employment (unable to provide their face-to-face styling service)

Lake Macquarie


Eastlakes U3A Inc

Purchase of laptops to deliver classes for isolated seniors who are currently unable to attend U3A classes due to COVID-19 restrictions



Families Supporting Families Incorporated

A special event to encourage social connections for families with children living with disability/additional needs, in the October 2020 school holidays

Lake Macquarie


Gateway Care

Shelving and equipment to enable increased food distribution



Home-Start National Inc (Home-Start Family Services)

Training of new volunteers to assist with delivering their program in response to increased need



JobQuest -Penrith Skills for Jobs

Tablets to enable home preschool program to be delivered electronically, rather than paper-based



Lifeline Direct

Supervision support for our counselling volunteers – higher demand on service due to COVID-19



Lions Club of Warners bay

Purchase of device to enable contactless donations to be received

Warners Bay


Newcastle Meals on Wheels

Funding to cover additional volunteer costs in delivering meals (fuel, transport, PPE)

Boolaroo, Morisset and Toronto


Nova for Women and Children

Emergency assistance (including removalist costs), Opal cards, food vouchers

Nova Eastlakes and Westlakes Women and Children's refuges


Redhead Bowling Club Co-Op Limited

Purchase of various social distancing equipment, barriers and screens



Redhead Bowling Club Co-op Limited

Purchase of hand sanitising stations



Scout Association of Australia 1st Warners Bay Group

Computer and internet to enable programs to be delivered electronically, rather than paper-based

Warners Bay


Southlake Community Services

Food and hygiene products for the vulnerable



Southlake Marketplace

Purchase of two large freezers to cater for increased meal distribution



Sugar Valley Neighbourhood Centre

Purchase of low-cost laptops and iPad for loan for families. Food hampers to supplement existing supplies

West Wallsend


Swansea Community Cottage Inc

Provision of counselling sessions for clients dealing with anxieties and other issues relating to COVID-19



The Canopy Incorporated

Hand sanitiser, sneeze guards and other safety measures, as well as video conferencing equipment

Cameron Park


Uniting Preschool Caves Beach

20-week Yoga Wellbeing Program for children to address stress and anxieties

Caves Beach


Variety - the Children's Charity NSW/ACT

Laptops for children ('vulnerable' or in a 'high risk' category) unable to attend school

Lake Macquarie


Wangi Peter Pan Preschool

Family connection and celebration event to bring people back together

Wangi Wangi