CCI Giving grants Community Partners much-needed support

CCI Giving grants Community Partners much-needed support

The Small Grants Program is one of three funding streams offered through CCI Giving. The successful applicants are working to support some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Families affected by mental health issues or domestic violence in remote communities, youth facing educational disadvantage, and asylum seekers are among those deserving of special attention this year.

“We want to help those who need us the most,” says Roberto Scenna, CEO at CCI and Director of CCI Giving.

The first funding round from the charitable foundation will assist eleven organisations to make a positive impact. The contribution of these June 2018 CCI Giving Small Grants Program Community Partners is outlined as follows:


1. HoMie Street Store (VIC)

The Pathway Project provides meaningful training and employment opportunities for Melbourne’s homeless youth. In 2018, ten young Melburnians (aged 18-25) experiencing hardship and homelessness will be housed, trained as retail workers at the HoMie Street Store in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, or be upskilled to train and mentor at-risk youth. Pathway participants gain a Certificate III in Retail Operations and upon successful graduation, can be employed by Cotton On or an employer of choice within the HoMie network.

CCI Giving is supporting one of ten young people involved in the HoMie social enterprise.


2. St Francis Social Service, House of Welcome (NSW)

The House of Welcome Catering Social Enterprise (HoW Catering) contributes to the empowerment of refugees and people seeking asylum to create experience and knowledge that enables employment. Participants gain work experience and skills as a HoW chef, obtaining much-needed work experience that meets the requirements of a commercial kitchen and employment references that may not otherwise be available.

CCI Giving will provide Mandatory Food Preparation training for three chefs and contribute to new kitchen equipment and other operational requirements.


3. Catholic Education Foundation (NSW)

The Catholic Education Foundation’s Refugee Bursary Program ensures that children who have arrived in Australia – who hold Humanitarian Visas and have already suffered as a result of trauma and displacement – are given access to high-quality education. Since 2014, the program has supported almost 300 refugee students, from Kindergarten to Year 12, accessed across 152 Catholic schools within the Archdiocese of Sydney.

CCI Giving is supporting four bursaries in schools in Wakeley, Lakemba, Smithfield and Fairfield in NSW.


4. St Vincent de Paul Society (SA)

The Vinnies Women’s Crisis Centre in Adelaide is a 20-room facility that opened in November 2017, providing emergency crisis accommodation in family rooms to women, children, and their pets. The facility is already operating at capacity, focusing on keeping women and their families safe when they are most vulnerable, provides various in-house services to support them as they transition to permanent living arrangements.

CCI Giving is supporting much-needed storage and shelving for the kitchen, making it a more functional space for staff and volunteers to deliver three meal services per day to residents.


5. Patricia Giles Centre Inc (WA)

Wollstonecraft is a social enterprise pilot project for women escaping family and domestic violence, to help them take back control of their lives. The initiative provides self-determined employment using a micro-franchise model fostering financial independence, confidence and stability. With the support of partnered community service providers and volunteer business mentors, Wollstonecraft provides participants with the opportunity to build a micro-franchise cleaning business.

CCI Giving is funding five women to obtain their goal of self-determined employment within this pilot program.


6. Beacon Foundation (TAS and QLD)

The Work Readiness Program for Disadvantaged Youth empowers young people with skills that are not always available through core curriculum. The program provides participants with careers guidance, 21st century skills such as professional etiquette, and gives them a chance to engage with industry professionals. The program builds optimism, increases possibilities for a positive life and empowers young people to take important steps towards financial independence and wellbeing.

CCI Giving is supporting the delivery of two Work Readiness programs to students at St. Benedict’s College (QLD) and Marist Regional College (TAS).


7. Youth Plus Foundation Limited (VIC)

The Youth Plus Foundation Asylum Seeker Support Project provides living support for asylum seekers who have come through the Asylum Seekers Pathways Project at St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre in North Melbourne. Participants have no access to HECS for their tertiary education and, despite being in Australia for close to five years, they are categorised as international students. Accordingly, without the program’s support, many may not be able to continue their studies and may withdraw or face significant hardships with continuing study.

CCI Giving’s support will enable delivery of training to participants including Certificate IV in Workplace Health & Safety, Food Safety Supervisor Training, Xero Accounting and Vend Point of Sale training.


8. Cana Communities (NSW)

Cana Farm’s Life Transformation Program removes barriers to education and promotes the wellbeing of the individual by giving marginalised young people the opportunity to learn and work and live a dignified and self-sufficient life. Program participants have experienced extraordinary life challenges; many are on parole or day release, are unskilled, homeless, long-term unemployed, refugees, indigenous, have mental health issues, a physical disability or a history of drug and alcohol abuse.

CCI Giving’s support will enable delivery of training to participants including Certificate IV in Workplace Health & Safety, Food Safety Supervisor Training, Xero Accounting and Vend Point of Sale training.


9. Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (VIC)

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s Foodbank in Footscray services around 600 members each week. The number of people seeking asylum who are reliant on Foodbank has doubled in the past three years. Members shop once a week for groceries, the majority of which is rescued produce received directly from supermarkets, markets or via food rescue organisations. Community support for this initiative is high, with in excess of $1 million of donated food managed by 126 volunteers weekly.

CCI Giving’s support will enable the construction of an additional coolroom at Foodbank, increasing its storage capacity to accept free fresh food deliveries.


10. Churches of Christ Community Care (VIC)

The Dandenong Ranges Domestic Violence Support for Mothers and Children offers connection, kindness and practical support for women and their children who are experiencing or escaping violence or post-separation abuse. The project delivers a peer-to-peer support group, trauma-informed play programs and practical supports such as access to nutritious meals, in an environment which takes account of the ‘invisible’ barriers that women who are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder often experience.

CCI Giving will support the hiring of a paid youth and children’s worker for the children’s program, including the establishment of a therapeutic library to help children understand and process their experiences.


11. Catholic Mission (NSW)

The Refugee/Asylum Seeker Speaker Program is based on a model that has been operational in Sydney since 2005, supporting families who have come to Australia as refugees or asylum seekers. Suitably screened Year 10 – 12 student volunteers are linked with primary school participants in the program, providing homework assistance, conversation and mentoring. Relationships forged through the program are an invaluable source of support and welcome for the student participant and their family.

CCI Giving will support the expansion of the program to encompass delivery of homework support and mentoring of refugee students in Parramatta/Blacktown, at the request of Catholic primary schools in the area.


Applications for the next round of the CCI Giving Small Grants Program will open in July 2018.