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Community projects snubbed in ‘long winded’ vote process

The Service NSW My Community Project announced successful applicants of the program offering up to $260,000 to each NSW electorate, but it was a disappointing program in the Southern Riverina.The public was asked to vote on projects put forward by community organisations, but all Murray electorate funding went to the Griffith area.The winning projects included a skate park in Yenda ($200,000) and to purchase a catering van for the Hanwood Can Assist ($46,000).Tocumwal Rotary Creek walk project coordinator Kerry Davies was the spearhead for the upgrade of the Tocumwal Women’s Australian Air Force Auxiliary Force Creek Walk Master Plan.She said many projects had votes go astray due to its ‘‘tedious and long-winded’’ application process.‘‘It’s just disappointing to not receive the funding and holds up the upgrade even further,’’ Mrs Davies said.‘‘I had many people come to me saying they wanted to vote but were put off by the long winded process to get through.’’After filling out their details accompanied by their Medicare card, voters had to go through a process of elimination from their electorate and selection of top projects before finally choosing which one got their vote.‘‘I really thought the project was worthwhile given the history of the track,’’ Mrs Davies added.‘‘I thought it deserved to be successful and it is even more disappointing that all the funding went towards Griffith.’’Not only was the application process difficult for voters but offered little closure to the organisations when the results came in.‘‘We were only told we didn’t have enough votes,’’ Mrs Davies said.‘‘There was no other information provided and to this day we still don’t know how many votes we got or how close we came to being successful.’’In the Murray electorate, the local community submitted five projects in Berrigan and Tocumwal and one in the Albury electorate for Jerilderie.Local projects submitted that missed out include:Murray electorate – Berrigan Community Golf and Bowling Club for automatic irrigation sprinklers; Berrigan Community Golf and Bowling Club for installation of an outdoor exercise circuit and children’s playground; Berrigan Children’s Centre to create an indoor learning space and an outdoor chill out place for school aged children; Tocumwal Football Netball Club for additional netball courts, and Tocumwal Rotary Club for the replacement of two pedestrian bridges as stage one of the WAAAF Creek Walk Master Plan.Albury electorate – Jerilderie Lions Club, for a bronze statue of a young John Monash with Ned Kelly’s horse.The successful Albury electorate projects included purchasing a refrigerated delivery van to provide emergency food relief in Albury ($35,000), installing shade sails at the Eastern View Estate Parks in East Albury ($55,088) and upgrading the Holbrook netball courts ($180,000).

Daniel Hughes


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‘Dementia friendly’ cafe to open

A dementia friendly community is the aim of a new project being delivered by Finley Dementia Alliance, Finley Regional Care and Dementia Australia.The project will see the three organisations start a community cafe that will guide community groups and service clubs in making Finley ‘dementia friendly’.More than 448,000 people in Australia are living with dementia and the numbers are expected to grow to more than one million by 2050.‘‘If you look at the number of people who are available and will be able to care for them, there is not the population growth to match,’’ Finley Regional Care CEO Ben Levesque said.‘‘Dementia Australia advocates that if people living with dementia were to stay at home and in their own community for longer it would alleviate a lot of issues.‘‘Their lives would be more fulfilling and they would feel part of the community they have grown or lived in for a longer length of time. The Community Cafe idea is a way of inviting social, service and community groups to be part of the process of allowing people living with dementia to remain active in their own community.‘‘The continuing cafes are places where carers and people living with dementia are able to socialise with others in a similar situation, to discuss issues in a non-threatening and safe environment.’’The cafes are an opportunity to improve the accessibility and inclusivity of areas in the community.‘‘This is a small part and a start on the path to becoming a community that is dementia friendly,’’ Mr Levesque said. Finley Regional Care has also partnered with the Finley Dementia Alliance which is made up of people who care about this subject and understand the issues of caring for people with dementia as well as carers and people living with dementia. The alliance of the Dementia Australia, Finley Regional Care, Finley Dementia Alliance and Finley RSC have found ways to raise community awareness and education on this subject. ‘‘People living with dementia are essential to this education and are the driving force for awareness as they are able to tell us what the stumbling blocks are and where they find difficulties,’’ Mr Levesque added.‘‘Each community that is working towards becoming dementia friendly uses different ways to start their journey. Our alliance has chosen the community cafe approach, so that the community is involved from the start.‘‘We believe the stigma and lack of appropriate knowledge around dementia is lacking in a community situation. Awareness and education programs help people to feel comfortable and better able to do and say the right things in situations that they might in the past have found confronting.’’The trio of organisations will host its first community cafe at Finley RS Club on Friday, September 20, between 10.30am and 12.30pm.

Daniel Hughes


News

Monthly Market for Can Assist

The Finley farmers’ market is being revitalised to support Can Assist.The markets will be held at the rear yard of Trying For Our Health in Pinnuck St and will be run monthly on every third Saturday.The first of the Can Assist markets will be held this weekend on Saturday, September 21.The idea was spearheaded by owner of TFOH, Lyn Pascoe, who believes it will be a great way for the community to engage with each other and raise funds for the local charity.‘‘The market is a great way to support local small business and a fabulous excuse for getting together with friends on a Saturday morning,’’ Mrs Pascoe said.‘‘The weather is warming and most of us are wanting to get out of our winter hibernation.‘‘The aim is to get the market going regularly. There has been much excitement and interest in there being a market in Finley again.’’With the weather fining up this spring, the market has also secured a soft serve ice cream truck and an appearance from Artisan bread who were a popular stall at the former Finley farmers’ market. Mrs Pascoe wants to help raise funds for a local group that works tirelessly in support of those struggling with cancer in the region. ‘‘They (Can Assist) work so hard at fundraising and giving support to those on a journey with cancer,’’ she said. For only a gold coin donation for the market which goes to Can Assist Finley, locals can experience and peruse a range of products from local businesses.‘‘The market has booked a great range of stalls, from metal art, wood craft and handicrafts to personal care products and even kayaks! ‘‘We have a range of home storage and home care options, bulbs and plants, health food and supplements, cakes for the sweet tooth and coffee for that morning pick me up.’’The market will also feature cafe tables, a sandpit for children and amenities are on site.The Can Assist Finley branch members are also hosting a stall of cakes and crafts on the day and will be available to talk to you about the work of the branch and how you can help if you are looking to get involved with supporting locals on a journey with cancer.Preparations for the October market day have already begun with Mrs Pascoe looking forward to teaming up with Feel Good in Finley to further expand the much anticipated first one this weekend.Feel Good in Finley will be held at the Finley RS Club on September 19 and 20. Phone Lyn Pascoe on 0423 206 590 for more information on the September and October market days.

Daniel Hughes


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