Funding boost for local mental health and wellbeing programs

Celebrating success (L-R): Director Corporate and Community Services James Shepherd, Stuart MacMillan from Creative Corner, Stuart Hicks from Mindful Margaret River, Community Development Trainee Shannon Walker and Coordinator Community Planning & Development Jason Cleary.
Celebrating success (L-R): Director Corporate and Community Services James Shepherd, Stuart MacMillan from Creative Corner, Stuart Hicks from Mindful Margaret River, Community Development Trainee Shannon Walker and Coordinator Community Planning & Development Jason Cleary.

Community-led wellbeing initiatives in the Shire of Augusta Margaret River received a timely boost this week with the announcement of successful Lotterywest funding for Mindful Margaret River and the Shire's 'Grab A Bite' program.

Mindful Margaret River is a not-for-profit association of mental health professionals, government agencies, community representatives and the AMRS, working together to promote mental health and wellbeing.

The group was advised this week of its success in securing $176,000 to support the delivery of the initiatives.

Mindful Margaret River Chairperson Stuart Hicks said the funding would assist the group to deliver on objectives including a mental health awareness program, a Heath Hub for professionals and an ongoing community mental health collaborative.

Access to health and wellbeing support at a local level is absolutely crucial in a regional area like ours," he said.

"Having this funding will allow us to provide on the ground, meaningful support for the community and we know it will make a huge difference."

Mr Hicks said Mindful Margaret River was extremely grateful for Lotterywest's strong support and that the grant's success had relied on a high measure of collaboration between Mindful Margaret River and the Shire.

"The Shire has been a fantastic supporter of Mindful Margaret River throughout the first year of our busy life," he said.

The Shire was also successful in securing $74,536 in Lotterywest funding for its 'Grab A Bite' program for young people.

The program aims to support young people to develop skills that enhance their ability to access jobs, volunteer opportunities and to develop new business ventures.

With bike building, fiction writing, dressmaking, woodwork, art and design programs on offer, the initiative aims to provide skills development opportunities while also aiding physical and mental health and welling.

The program, which is accessible to all young people, is also expected to result in economic and social development opportunities within the Shire and will include partnerships with local community organisations including Creative Corner, Woven Cowaramup, Concrete Club and Cowaramup Men's Shed.

Director Corporate and Community Services James Shepherd said news of the funding success was a welcome start to 2021.

"Both of these programs will provide a significant benefit to the local community," he said.

"The Shire is thrilled to see this support come through in two much-needed areas, being health and wellbeing, and youth services.

"It's brilliant that we now have the funding to back these much-needed programs and we can't wait to get started."

Mindful Margaret River's initiatives and the Shire's 'Grab a Bite' program will both be rolled out in 2021. Information on the programs will be shared via www.amrshire.wa.gov.au.