Groups share in community grants

Look Good Feel Better has received $10,000 to run workshops for Geelong cancer patients. (Supplied)

Ash Bolt

Three community groups have shared in almost $23,000 of funding through community grants from EnergyAustralia.

Look Good Feel Better, Lifeline Geelong and south-west Victoria and Elf Squad were the recipients of funding under the sixth round of EnergyAustralia’s Geelong Community Grants program.

Lifeline Geelong and south-west Victoria received a $10,000 grant, which regional manager Jason Doherty said would make a positive difference to the mental health of Geelong residents.

“We’ll put our $10,000 to good use, putting people across Geelong and south-west Victoria through our SafeTALK and Mind Your Mates training programs,” he said.

“This will give them the tools to support people with mental health concerns – something that’s been on the increase with COVID-19.”

Look Good Feel Better also received a $10,000 commitment, so it could hold 10 workshops for Geelong cancer patients to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of their cancer treatment.

Geelong-based charity Elf Squad received a $2845 grant, which founder, Stephanie Beitzel said would cover around 85 per cent of the charity’s out-of-pocket expenses.

The charity, which is coming up to its fifth Christmas, collects donations from businesses and the community to provide presents to between 500 and 1000 children in need across the region.

Ms Beitzel said the grant would allow volunteers to continue their important work.

“There are always costs associated with running Elf Squad, from having groups come in to be elves, equipping businesses across the G21 as drop-off points, producing signage and dispatching,” she said.

“We don’t want to be using donations to cover those costs, so that’s why the grant is so important.

“We’re fully run by volunteers so this means we can just get on now with supporting families in crisis in an enriching way.”

EnergyAustralia customer care leader Jim Salter-Duke said his team was excited to be funding three worthy initiatives.

“EnergyAustralia is one of the largest employers in Geelong, with hundreds of people in our contact centre. Our people love these grants and the positive impact they have on their own community,” he said.

Since its inception, theGeelong Community Grants program has awarded around $100,000 to local organisations.