More than 20 schools, sporting clubs and other community groups across the Gold Coast and northern New South Wales have received a welcome cash injection from the 2018 Gold Coast Airport Community Benefit Fund.
The groups received grant funding of about $1,000 per organisation to assist with initiatives in the areas of health and wellbeing, safety, education, security, and environment.
A list of grant recipients includes:
• Tweed United Football Club
• Helensvale Swimming Club
• Light House Services
• Palm Beach Currumbin State High School
• Super Max & Bryce project
• Animal Welfare League of Queensland
• Surf Life Saving Far North Coast Branch
• The Sanctuary Women, Children and Pets’ Refuge
• St Joseph's Primary School
• Anglicare Southern Queensland
• Currumbin District Horse Club
• Kiwanis Club of Pacific Pines
• Bilinga Surf Life Saving Club
• Tweed Heads Public School
• Gold Coast Hospital Foundation
• Tugun Seahawks Rugby League Club
• Prison Fellowship Australia – Queensland
• Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club
• Tennis Terranora
• Story Dogs
• GiveAbility - GRT Foundation
Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said the Community Benefit Fund had operated for the past three years, allowing the airport to provide funding support to a significant number of local community groups at a grassroots level.
“Each year we are overwhelmed with the fantastic community initiatives underway in our region,” Ms Charlton said.
“We’re acutely aware of the uphill battle faced by many of these groups when it comes to funding, so we continue to run the Community Benefit Fund as a way of giving back to locals.
“Grants of $1000 go a very long way for these groups.”
The Sanctuary Women, Children and Pets’ Refuge has built a pathway to provide safe access to its communal garden space, while Palm Beach Currumbin State High School has received funding for its “Rise Every Day Stronger” Mental Health Support Program.
Palm Beach-based rehabilitation service Light House is purchasing new gardening equipment to provide community services to those in need, while Bilinga Surf Lifesaving Club is providing free CPR courses with its grant funding.
A pathway has been built at The Sanctuary, connecting the house with the communal vegetable garden space, which was difficult to access for its residing clients, including children.
“The refuge provides physical and mental rehabilitation for women and children, and their pets, who are escaping domestic violence,” Founder and Director Simone Patterson said.
“We are building a communal garden where we will grow fresh produce for our clients to eat.
“Access between the house and garden was quite steep and unsafe, so we used the funds from our Community Benefit Fund grant to build a safe pathway for clients and volunteers.”
The Community Benefit Fund is run by Gold Coast Airport’s parent company, Queensland Airports Limited (QAL), which also operates Townsville, Mount Isa and Longreach airports.
The 2018 Community Benefit Fund contributed $50,000 to 43 organisations across the four ports – representing half of the 86 applications received.
QAL also supports local community, business, environmental and tourism events in each of its regions and across Queensland under its corporate sponsorship program.
The 2019 Community Benefit Fund will be launched in May this year. Organisations interested in applying should stay tuned to the airport’s website and Facebook page for further updates.