December 09th, 2020
A diverse range of charities dealing with the impact of COVID-19 has benefitted from more than $3 million in grants from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation in Melbourne.
LMCF CEO Dr Catherine Brown OAM described COVID-19 as a “unique challenge’’.
“Many of the grants came as a response to an urgent request for help while others will have long term ramifications for the wider community,’’ she said.
The list of 31 recipients helped through the LMCF grants include $50,000 rent relief for the Abbotsford Convent’s 126 tenants while the nearby Collingwood Children’s Farm received a similar amount for its COVID-19 recovery.
The largest grant was $250,000 to the Alfred Hospital’s Department of Infectious Diseases for research into the effect of COVID-19 on Victoria’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. The project took less than four weeks to go from concept to approval.
Dr James McMahon, Head of the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Unit and Infectious Diseases Physician at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital explained in April that the usual way of applying for research grants was “hugely long.’’ “And that length of time is impractical in this setting of the COVID pandemic,’’ he said.
Dr Brown said at the time of announcing the Alfred grant that LMCF was attracted to the opportunity to quickly build a COVID-19 lens onto existing research studies. "The grant recommendation was fast-tracked to the Board due to the urgent need to commence the research,’’ she said. “The ability for philanthropy to move quickly in crisis situations and provide early catalytic funding is critical at these times.’’
Monash University also received $100,000 for developing standards to help frontline medical staff, including respiratory specialist and others working in ICU.
Foodbank Victoria received $15,000 for food relief, and the Foundation committed to match donations to Foodbank up to $50,000. Additional grants went to online organisations Gather My Crew, Justice Connect and Infoexchange to offer housing, employment and well being assistance.
Tradeswomen Australia was given $75,000 to train and help women to find work in the infrastructure and construction industry during the economic recovery.\
Several charities that address domestic violence were also given grants.
The LMCF, which distributes more than $12 million in grants annually to the Melbourne community, will open its Innovation grants round next month.
“We are currently working with charities on projects which respond to economic and social support and grow opportunities for job creation as we recover from COVID-19,’’ Dr Brown said.
A full list of grants and applications information is available here.
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