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Six grassroots community groups will receive more than $140,000 from Bank of Melbourne Neighbourhood Fund.

Bank of Melbourne Chief Executive Scott Tanner said the grants would help communities build a better future for Victorians in need – whether it’s by providing a nutritious weekly meal, positive adult role models for young people at risk, a safe urban refuge for women, or breaking the cycle of poverty in regional Victoria.

“Bank of Melbourne is proud to support local communities and the important work of dedicated Victorians. These latest grants will help make a difference to those who need it most - through crisis care, mentoring, housing services and settlement support,” Mr Tanner said.

The six groups sharing in $140,000 in grants are Compass Community Care, Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia, Bendigo Family and Financial Services, St Kilda Gatehouse, Refuge of Hope, and the Womens’ Property Initiative.

Since launching in March 2013, Bank of Melbourne Neighbourhood Fund has donated more than $860,000 to local charities that improve the lives of Victorians. The Fund distributes grants of up to $50,000 to small charities that attract little government funding or significant fundraising income of their own.

Successful projects supported in the latest funding round:

1. Compass Community Care, Bentleigh: $2,255
Compass Community Care supports people experiencing poverty, disability or sickness by providing food, household items and financial support. With the grant, Compass will buy new kitchen equipment to prepare a sit-down meal to those in need each Sunday afternoon.

2. Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia, Ballarat: $10,000
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides mentoring for young people without positive adult role models. This grant will help build mentoring programs specifically for young men aged between 7 and 17. Research shows that improving the quality of role models in a young male’s life significantly impacts their long-term development, education and employment opportunities.

3. St Kilda Gatehouse, St Kilda: $40,000
St Kilda Gatehouse helps street sex workers in St Kilda who are unable to support themselves and don’t receive support from their family or other community groups. This grant will provide crisis care at their Greeves Street drop-in centre.

4. Bendigo Family and Financial Services, Bendigo: $23,000
Bendigo Family and Financial Services was established to break the cycle of generational poverty in Bendigo. It supports people towards better life choices, providing financial literacy programs and income management. The grant will provide 2,000 children and their families with daily life essentials to alleviate their financial pressures.

5. Refuge of Hope, Melbourne: $16,900
Refuge of Hope provides emergency relief and crisis support to migrants, refugees and international students in Victoria. This grant will deliver workshops, mentoring and one-on-one support to accelerate settlement and independent living, leading to better health and wellbeing for clients.

6. Women’s Property Initiatives, North & Western suburbs: $50,000
Women’s Property Initiatives develops and manages long-term affordable rental housing to help build a secure future for women and children impacted by domestic violence. This grant will be used to fund an extra staff member for the Social Enterprise-Property Initiatives Real Estate project. Every dollar invested by Women’s Property Initiatives to provide housing results in an estimated $3.15 in social and economic benefit to the community.


For more information about the Bank of Melbourne Neighbourhood Fund or to apply, visit The three funding rounds for 2016 will be announced in January 2016.