Finalists to ‘pitch’ for improved health & wellbeing locally

COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN today announced three local organisations – Beyond Empathy, Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation and Scarf Incorporated – have been selected to pitch at its inaugural Pitch Night, to be held in Wollongong on 26 June 2019.

Dianne Kitcher, CEO of South Eastern NSW PHN, said the three organisations will pitch their innovative idea to more than 100 community members for a share of $160,000.

“This round of funding focused on improving the health and wellbeing of refugees, Aboriginal people and youth at risk in the Shellharbour and Wollongong local government areas and we are thrilled with the projects put forward by our finalists,” said Ms Kitcher.

The three finalists proposals include:

  • Beyond Empathy their Foot on the Ladder (FoTL) idea is an art-meets-sport community project creating accessible health / nutrition information for people living in disadvantaged areas in the southern suburbs of Wollongong and Shellharbour. FoTL will produce podcasts of fictional stories set on the sporting field, places where people are engaged in all kinds of physical activity, and in places where food is important. These stories will be inspired by real-life experiences of the kids and families who live in the community. The podcasts will make health information accessible, weaving it with local stories, and will be promoted via traditional and non-traditional media channels.
  • Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation their Deadly Women and Deadly Kids program will offer a unique and much needed approach to meeting the needs of communities which traditionally don’t access facilities, or mainstream health services. This project will tackle some of the drivers of poor health outcomes for Indigenous Australians, encouraging Aboriginal families to be more active, and providing group-based physical activities. People will learn about the importance of staying healthy through active participation in exercise and sport activity across their lifespan. Structured and incidental exercise will be encouraged, through access to equipment in a community hub that is culturally safe and supported. People will also engage in growing their own food, both traditional and organic, and developing and sharing healthy meals with the produce.
  • Scarf Incorporated - their Lunchbox for health and learning initiative aims to improve the health and wellbeing of refugee families by providing access to nutritional information, and increasing capacity for healthy, budget friending cooking and food preparation. SCARF supports refugee families as they adjust to their new lives in the Illawarra by creating connections that improve wellbeing and build a sense of belonging. Developed in collaboration with community members from refugee backgrounds, this program will emphasise preparing healthy snacks and meals for school children, healthy traditional styles of cooking, food budgeting and understanding nutrition, growing your own food, as well as a supermarket tour to increase food literacy.

“The finalists have attended a half-day workshop with experts from The Funding Network to develop their stories and get tips and advice on how to deliver a compelling pitch. On 26 June, they will pitch their idea to a crowd of around 100 community members,” said Ms Kitcher.

Once all three six-minute pitches are heard, the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions and then pledge COORDINARE funding to one or more initiatives of their choice. The pledged totals will be tallied at the end of the night.

“While distributing grant funding isn’t new, giving community members the opportunity to distribute funding across grassroots organisations is an innovative concept,” said Ms Kitcher.

“Our aim is to include the broader community in the decision-making process, lending itself to participatory budgeting; a democratic idea where stakeholders and the community are engaged to directly decide how and where to allocate funding.

“The benefit for those pitching is to gain exposure of their ideas, community support and funding to move their initiative forward,” she added.

This initiative is supported by funding from COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN through the Australian Government’s PHN Program.

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