Innovative learning aid for disabled children largest recipient in SCF

22 November 2012

An innovative multi-sensory garden project being implemented by the Skene Street Specialist School received the largest grant in this year’s $50,000 Challicum Hills Sustainable Communities Fund (SCF).

The School received $8300 towards creating a multi-sensory garden for children with physical and mental disabilities.

“Multi-sensory gardens are an important tool in helping children with disabilities as they encourage interactivity and assist in promoting emotional and physical wellbeing,” said the school’s Principal Robyn Anyon. “Even though the school is outside the Ararat Rural City, 50% of our students are from the Council area as we are the only specialist school in the region.”

20 other outstanding projects that focus on social and environmental sustainability also received a share in the $50,000 pool of funding. Projects that received funding include the Hammer Grammar and Bikes for Tykes programs run by the Ararat Men’s Shed, equipment for the new Carey Street Kindergarten that will accommodate the growing number of children in the Ararat area and support for a number of festivals that promote social cohesion and inclusion.

“We’re really pleased with the projects that are being implemented by Ararat Rural City community groups. Volunteers are the backbone of regional areas and the Ararat Rural City should be proud of the wonderful work being achieved by these groups,” said Pacific Hydro’s General Manager for Australia, Mr Lane Crockett.

Mr Crockett asked community groups who missed out not to be disheartened.

“The Fund Allocation Panel spent considerable time debating which projects should receive funding as all the applications were worthy. It’s a difficult process and it is worth coming back again if you were unsuccessful this time around,” said Mr Crockett.

The 21 successful applicants were congratulated at a special cheque presentation ceremony on Wednesday 21 November at the Chalambar Golf Club.

“We congratulate the community groups who received funding and extend our thanks to the inaugural Fund Allocation Panel members, which included community members, council representatives and some Pacific Hydro staff, for carefully considering each application and allocating the funds,” said Mr Crockett.

The Ararat Sustainable Communities Fund covers environmental, health, sporting, cultural and educational projects and is available each year for the life of the Challicum Hills wind farm’s operation.

Full list of this year’s recipients.