Ferntree Gully Community Safety Grants

Foothills Community Care is among the recipients of Council grants to enhance safety in Ferntree Gully.

Foothills received $207,355 for an 18-month pilot program to improve experiences of safety and community connection in Ferntree Gully Village. Other recipients include Rotary Club of Ferntree Gully, which received $112,655 for the Knox Nocturnals Youth Group, and Mountain District Learning Centre (MDLC), which received $46,500 to provide activities and experiences for young people outside school hours and during holidays. A total of $467,000 will be awarded under the Victorian Government’s Empowering Communities initiative as part of the Building Safer Communities Program.

The pilot program is about engaging with local residents, shopkeepers, community groups, service organisations and police, and bringing people together. Steve Barrington, CEO of Foothills Community Care said, ‘Our motto is “Everyone is welcome at our table” and that’s what we’re looking to do with this project – create safe spaces for everyone.’

MDLC received their grant to provide activities and experiences for young people outside school hours and during holidays. CEO Janet Claringbold said the project will support the social, emotional and educational development of young people in the centre’s Cottage Program who have co-designed the activities.

‘The funding will help build the capacity of young people to connect with their communities through activities and excursions within the community and further afield,’ she said. ‘This is to give them opportunities in a safe environment to go out and explore the world with other people they feel safe with.’

The Ferntree Gully Community Safety Outreach Project

By Stephen Barrington
CEO, Foothills Community Care

Foothills Community Care was recently successful in obtaining a grant from Knox Council for our new Ferntree Gully Community Safety Outreach Project. This grant is a ‘Knox Empowering Communities’ project, funded by the Victorian Government’s Empowering Communities Initiative as part of the Building Safer Communities Program.

This 18-month pilot project is based within the Ferntree Gully community and specifically the Ferntree Gully Village precinct, to address issues of safety and connection. The project centres around four key stakeholder groups, including local community groups, local traders, local law enforcement and vulnerable people in the area.

This project seeks to foster community connection, build positive relationships and improve trust between the stakeholder groups within Ferntree Gully in order to improve community safety and perceptions of safety.

It aims to do this by facilitating appropriate points of connection, creating safe spaces for relationships to develop, overcoming existing barriers and promoting positive attitudes and understandings between the different groups.

We are currently interviewing to appoint our two Community Outreach Workers who will work alongside the key stakeholders to ensure the success of this project. Our Outreach Workers will connect with and listen to our community, and through this, we have the capacity to co-design responses, activities, programs and events to achieve positive community outcomes.

For further information, please contact us at contact@foothillscare.org.au

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