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More than 250 not-for profit organisations supported to deliver 472 much needed community projects.

Words by Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chair, Phil Neat

Our regional communities are extraordinarily resilient. This is no more evident than right now as we support each other through a growing bushfire crisis and a drought that continues to impact not only farmers but our wider rural and regional communities. We’ll need to continue to draw on our resilience, resolve and compassion as we enter another summer without significant prospect for respite.

Fortunately, there are so many community organisations that are there to help when disaster or crisis strikes and when, through no fault of their own, people find themselves needing help. The Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation is in the privileged position of witnessing the tireless work of the staff and volunteers of these organisations and the impact they have, at a grassroots level, on people and communities. We’re proud to be an enabler of projects and initiatives that make a meaningful difference to people facing disadvantage, marginalisation or isolation.

This month, the Charitable Foundation celebrates a milestone of providing more than $20 million for charitable initiatives in regional NSW. Since 2003, that funding has helped fund 472 much-needed projects delivered by more than 250 not-for-profit organisations.

Our milestone has been reached through a sustained focus on working with our charitable partners to create innovative and high impact projects, often exciting new ones which deliver a real and lasting impact on the community. Each year, we distribute approximately $1.5 million in grants from our perpetual funding model to eligible organisations across our NSW regional footprint to bring projects to life in three focus areas, including creating better health outcomes, providing new opportunity for young people and providing social opportunity for the most marginalised in our society.

reaching 20 million in 2019

Each project represents a shared vision to rewrite the future for people in need and together build safe, healthy resilient communities, even if it means changing just one life at a time. Just a few of organisations which have delivered life changing impact over the years include:

The Nicholas Trust established by Craig and Jenny Butters after their son, Nicholas lost his battle with childhood cancer, provides service and support to children in the final stages of their young lives, regardless of geographic location and financial ability. With the Charitable Foundation’s support the Nicholas Trust has developed specialised paediatric palliative care rooms within regional hospitals, and established a loan pool of specialised palliative care equipment allowing families to remain close during this difficult time.

Police Citizen Youth Clubs (PCYC) is one of Australia's leading youth development organisations, working with young offenders and targeted youth at risk. The Foundation has a long partnership with PCYC NSW across 21 regional communities. Our funding has gone towards securing transport vehicles, club refurbishments and equipment and youth programs to create safe, supportive environments for young people in regional communities.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) provides family-centred therapies, life skills programs, equipment and support for people and their families living with cerebral palsy and other neurological and physical disabilities. The Foundation has worked with CPA to see five projects come to live since 2010, ensuring regional families in have access to the latest technology for therapy.

Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD) exists to change young lives through music. MMAD uses the power of music, dance and mentoring to inspire young people to make their lives remarkable. The Foundation has worked closely with MMAD to help fund five projects since its inception, from community infrastructure to social enterprise and to content creation to help give marginalised young people a voice.

These organisations, along with the many others we have supported, work with us to achieve our mission and share an understanding that meaningful change in not achieved with immediate results. Rather, it is a product of progressive development of strategy and direction, continued refinement of operating models and, sometimes the willingness to take on calculated risk to try a new way to address old problems. For more than 15 years we have collaborated to make a difference now, and ensure we possess the financial capability to continue long into the future.

Our funding program comes with the explicit understanding that giving money alone cannot make a difference, and we are not the ones who are doing the work, on the ground in communities every day. It is through the charities and their staff and volunteers that our vision comes to life. So, Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Board and management thank the groups we’ve funded for helping us to reach the $20 million funding milestone, sharing that vision and continuing to make a meaningful difference now, and for generations to come.

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