Over $300,000 in grant funding has recently been awarded by the Eastern Star Foundation to help empower older people in Queensland to live well. The successful recipients of the foundation’s 2021 grants include Australian War Widows Queensland, Guide Dogs Queensland, Hear and Say, Suncare Community Services, and Samford Support Network Inc.
Eastern Star Foundation Chairman, Jonathan Nantes, said that this year’s grant recipients aligned well with the foundation’s focus to support evidence-based programs and initiatives that help the aged to remain independent, practice choice, participate in the community and have a support network.
“The initiatives we have chosen to support this year will help organisations who care for our aged communities to empower their clients, providing them with dignity, independence and hope,” said Mr Nantes.
The largest grant being $100,000 was awarded to Australian War Widows Queensland (AWWQ), which will fund the purchase of a minivan so their staff can transport members to meetings and events. The minivan will be particularly useful to help war widows living in regional areas to have a support network and participate in their community of fellow war widows.
The grant will also provide the first year of a multi-year support arrangement to help pay for the fuel and running costs of the minivan as well as the costs of running the annual Sub-branch Taxi Subsidy Program. AWWQ will also receive additional recurrent funding of $50,000 annually for two further years to support these same programs, helping to reduce the program’s operating cost pressures and allow their elderly widows to stay socially connected.
Elderly people with low or no vision in South East Queensland, and their guide dog, will be able to access programs, training and services in the community thanks to a grant of $50,000 awarded to Guide Dogs Queensland so they could purchase a vehicle and pay for the vehicle’s running costs for 12 months.
While Suncare Community Services received a $45,000 grant to purchase a vehicle and pay for the running costs for a year, so their team could visit older community members more regularly, especially those that are located remotely. The new vehicle will also allow for the transport of those participants who want to partake in community-based activities.
Hear and Say was awarded a grant of $49,500 to increase the accessibility of their communications through the redevelopment of their website. The redeveloped website will help support older Queenslanders stay socially connected through optimised hearing.
Community group Samford Support Network Inc received a $12,000 grant to fund mobile alert pendants, IT equipment and volunteer training and transport costs to support the organisation’s community support services for the elderly.
“We were pleased to be able to recognise these successful grant recipients at the recent Order of the Eastern Star Grand Chapter of Queensland Installation and look forward to sharing with our stakeholders the difference that these grants will make,” said Jonathan.
Photo: Representatives of Australian War Widows Queensland, Guide Dogs Queensland and Samford Support Network Inc.