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Blue Mountains News

Upgrade for Blaxland’s Gateway Family Services

Posted: 24 Dec 2018
A much needed upgrade will make life easier for volunteers and provide better storage for the thousands of donations of food and gifts distributed each year by Blaxland’s Gateway Family Services.

Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman said a $3,800 Macquarie Stronger Communities Grant would be used to create more effective storage options for food donations, and upgrade meeting room and kitchen facilities at Gateway.

“Gateway Family Services provides a range of support services for parents and families, including specialised education programs, support groups, mentoring and early intervention,” Ms Templeman said. “They also have an extensive emergency relief program.

“For Christmas this year alone, Gateway packed and distributed more than 300 hamper boxes to give to families in need and they estimate more than 1,100 people received gifts and/or food.

“They provide a wonderful service to the Blue Mountains and Penrith Community and I’m delighted to be able to support them with a Macquarie Stronger Communities Grant.

“Like so many not-for-profit organisations, Gateway relies heavily on volunteer helpers and knows how to make every dollar in donations or grants count.”

Heather Gwilliam from Gateway Family Services said the $3,800 Macquarie Stronger Communities Grant would be well spent on much needed improvements to their Blaxland volunteer facilities.

“We really need to try and make our pantry work better,” said Ms Gwilliam said. “It’s got big shelves, but they don’t work that well.

“We’ve managed to raise half of the funds required to give us new shelving and replace our old kitchen bench and sink and buy a new Zip heater to use for group activities as well as replacing some chairs.

“We have a lot of volunteers who come and go. It will be very well used; every dollar will be well spent.”

Ms Templeman said the Macquarie Stronger Communities Grant Program provides local sporting, community groups or P&Cs with up to 50 percent of the cost for specific projects.

“It is a great program that recognises the fantastic contributions of our local community and sporting groups,” she said. “It can give them that capital boost they desperately need,” Ms Templeman said.

“The Macquarie Stronger Communities Program provides $150,000 to be shared among up to 20 projects that improve local community participation and contribute to vibrant and viable communities. Individual grant amounts range from $2,500 to $20,000 to provide up to half of the total project cost.”  

Ms Templeman said she received more than 90 applications for individual projects under Round 4 of the program and an independent panel assisted in selecting the successful 20 projects. The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science then assessed each application to ensure all projects comply with the program guidelines.

 
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