Port Neill Progress Association will be able to fund its weekly fitness program through 2019 thanks to Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal funding.
The foundation announced on January 7 the association was one of 12 community organisations across Australia that was successful in receiving grants from its Tackling Tough Times Together program.
The association received $5000 for its ‘Kick Start Our Community’ project to operate its fitness program throughout 2019.
Association treasurer Ros Scrase said the association was delighted with the news.
“We’re appreciative of the work of Christine Charlton in helping us get this grant,” she said.
Mrs Scrase said the program had been surviving on grant funding and contributions since its original seniors fitness had its funding cut by the state government in 2013.
She said once the funding was removed, the group was opened up to people of all ages.
“Our fitness group is a real social group,” she said.
“There’s a good cross section of the community.”
Mrs Scrase said she takes part in the program alongside her husband, Ted Scrase and when the grandchildren were on holidays they would take part too.
Beyond 2019 the association aims to continue fundraising and seeking grant funding to keep the program going.
Altogether the 12 grants total $133,000 and are the first since the Tackling Tough Times Together program was expanded nationally following a $15 million injection from the Australian Government and contributions from other bodies.
Foundation chief executive officer Natalie Egleton said the program was about helping communities fund whatever they determined was most important to support their community.
“When farmers are doing it tough, the whole community feels the effects," she said.
“Money and volunteer effort often dry up for the things that keep community members connected and supported – just when they need it most.
“These kinds of flexible grants become really important."