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VicHealth delivers $3.9 million to support Victorian communities in COVID-19 recovery

VicHealth delivers $3.9 million to support Victorian communities in COVID-19 recovery
December 10, 2020

VicHealth grants will see 460 local organisations across Victoria share in more than $3.9million to support their communities to connect socially, get active and access healthy, affordable food in the new COVID-normal.

VicHealth’s Reimagining Health grants will help a wide range of community groups, including sports clubs, arts organisations and youth groups, bring to life innovative locally-led and owned projects which support the health and wellbeing of those hardest hit by the pandemic.

The grants come as new data reveals how the second Coronavirus wave has indirectly affected the health and wellbeing of Victorians.

A survey of 2,000 Victorians shows many struggled to connect socially and to be physically active, but on a positive note, many wanted to be more involved with their community once the pandemic eased. The data shows that during the second wave:

  • 1 in 3 Victorians were worried about their loss of social connection, with 2 in 5 finding it hard or very hard to stay connected to friends and family
  • 3 in 4 who attended fitness classes stopped attending, while 3 in 5 who attended arts groups also stopped going along
  • 1 in 2 school-aged kids were less active
  • However, more than 1 in 2 wanted to get involved in a community group or club once restrictions eased, and;
  • 1 in 5 ate more vegetables, for most it was because they were cooking more.

VicHealth Chief Executive, Dr Sandro Demaio advised “as we approach 2021, local organisations will be key to ensuring Victorians of all ages and backgrounds can reconnect with others, get active and access affordable, healthy food.

“Many Victorians have emerged from the second wave eager to be more involved in community activities, so we’re excited to support 460 local organisations to continue their important work.”

Among the grant recipients is United Through Football, a local organisation which aims to support and engage young people from public housing estates, including the nine in North Melbourne and Flemington locked down in July. The organisation will receive a $50,000 grant to offer sport and social activities in 2021.

Ahmed Dini from United Through Football is looking forward to getting more families involved in fun activities with this funding and notes “this funding will make a huge impact on the public housing residents impacted by COVID-19, particularly among African communities.

“Our summer programming will enable fun and social interaction through football and basketball tournaments.  We also plan to offer other recreational activities, like camping, swimming, horse-riding, go-carting and ice-skating. We aim to build community capacity and give young people as well as their families some hope and civic pride after what they have endured throughout the pandemic.”

Other funded projects include establishing a network of chatty cafes in Ballarat to help locals combat isolation, supporting a rugby club to introduce fun cooking and nutrition classes and providing young people with upcycled bikes plus the skills to ride and maintain them.

View the full list of projects here 

Images: Among the grant recipients is United Through Football. Credit: Madaale Productions

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11th September 2020 - VicHealth study shows food delivery services pushing unhealthy options in low-income suburbs

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7th August 2020 - New VicHealth study finds LGBTI+ community still experiencing social barriers to sport participation

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23rd June 2020 - VicHealth announces new funding for community sports clubs across Victoria

7th April 2020 - AFL players join with VicHealth to promote wellness during Coronavirus shutdown

2nd March 2020 - VicHealth’s new This Girl Can campaign focuses on positive feelings

26th February 2020 - VicHealth considers new industry code on unhealthy food advertising to be ineffective

21st January 2020 - VicHealth calls for higher standards on fast food marketing to teenagers and children

19th November 2019 - VicHealth offers new funding to sports clubs

16th August 2019 - VicHealth set to launch a new This Girl Can campaign

19th July 2019 - VicHealth to offer new fun and inclusive sport programs

8th July 2019 - New Chief Executive appointed at VicHealth

1st July 2019 - VicHealth grants provide opportunities for increased community sport participation

30th January 2019 - VicHealth research considers the effectiveness of health and wellbeing apps 

10th December 2018 - Latest VicHealth funding helps local sports clubs achieve their goals 

5th December 2018 - VicHealth campaign promoting physical activity to women is recognised with Fame Award

30th June 2018 - Local sports clubs to benefit from VicHealth funding

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