Media releases

December 11, 2014

New South Wales locals have final say on community health projects

Four community health projects have been granted funding from Medibank thanks to the votes of locals in New South Wales.

CatholicCare Sydney, Foodswell Limited, Beautiful Minds and The Hub Community Pantry will each share in the $600,000 worth of funding which has been made available through the 2015 Medibank Community Grants program.

Medibank Chief Customer Officer, Laz Cotsios said each project addresses an identified health need impacting communities in the New South Wales.

“The five health projects have won the hearts of NSW people and bring Medibank’s for better health purpose to life, by encouraging local communities to eat healthier, exercise more and stay connected with those around them”, Mr Cotsios said.  

“The projects will play a vital role treating mental illness, safeguarding food security, preventing the onset obesity and type 2 diabetes and ensuring the health of our next generation”.

The 2015 grants round was highly contested with more than 500 applications from community organisations around Australia and New Zealand.

From here, 33 projects were shortlisted online by councils made up of Medibank employees.  The Australian community were then asked to vote for the community health program that was not only relevant to where they live but their own personal values.

“It was a really important and conscious decision for Medibank to get the Australian public involved in the grants program and give them the final say on which community health projects they needed the most.”

The 2015 Medibank Community Grant recipients for New South Wales are:

1.      Beautiful Minds auspiced by the Schizophrenia Fellowship NSW - $33,350

A renovation of an outdoor area to include a vegetable garden and exercise equipment at Birunji - an acute mental health unit, will provide hospitalised adolescent patients who have poor skills and knowledge of healthy living due to the impact of their illness, with vital recreation during their mental health recovery.

2.      Foodswell Ltd - $37,000

Foodswell Ltd will use their funding to develop five community based gardening and food workshops that help to inspire local schools, health, disability and grass roots organisations to run engaging, fun healthy eating events to bridge the divide between disadvantaged remote, rural and urban communities.

3.      The Hub Community Pantry - $15,000

A planned community garden will address the issue of Food Security in the Macarthur area and the increasing demand for the Hub Community Pantry’s emergency relief food hampers. The garden will provide employment and a sense of purpose for the community.

4.      Catholic Care Sydney – $14,650

The ‘Garden Sprouts’ program will promote healthier eating habits tailored to individual living situations for families with young children who are exposed to stress, relationship breakdowns, financial difficulties or who have little or no support. The program will provide education on how to plan, create and maintain edible gardens.

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