Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, has welcomed an additional $47,000 for the Scone Neighbourhood Centre to deliver the Virtual Shed Project.
The funding is on top of $188,000 that was provided to the Scone Neighbourhood Centre under the Strengthening Communities activity over the two years 2015 to 2017 and will allow the Virtual Shed Project to continue until the end of 2017.
“The Virtual Shed Project engages rural men through workshops in the Upper Hunter region and facilitates discussion on topics such as dealing with family breakdowns, parenting, adverse circumstances and natural disaster,” Mr Joyce said.
“The project also provides opportunities for men to establish and maintain support networks, as well as a referral service to a range of agencies. Feedback from the operators of the project indicates that it is meeting its objectives by providing a haven for men facing difficult circumstances and offering workable solutions.”
In the 2016-17 Budget, the Government announced it will redesign the Strengthening Communities grants activity to have a greater focus on building strong, resilient and cohesive communities and will rename it the Strong and Resilient Communities (SARC) activity. The redesign is being undertaken within existing funding and will complement other Government policies to strengthen social cohesion.
The redesigned program will be implemented on 1 January 2018 with the selection round expected to open mid-2017.
The Scone Neighbourhood Centre is one of approximately 21 organisations which provides direct services and have had long-term funding provided through one-off grants processes.