A MMAD Day opening new online youth centre

Musicians Making a Difference has received $50,000 for a new online youth centre

Six new projects on the Central Coast will share in close to $150,000 from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation’s special COVID-19 grant round.

The grants are designed to address specific community hardship as a result of the coronavirus.

“Many charities have been forced to cease or adapt their community outreach and fundraising operations as a direct result of the pandemic,” a Foundation spokesperson said.

“The grants will provide each charity recipient with the funding they need to adapt their services and help create wider access to vital support services.

“They will also help to drive community-led recovery from the pandemic through initiatives that address disadvantage across the Foundation’s key focus areas of health, social well-being and young people.”

Musicians Making a Difference (MMAD), based in Gosford, will receive $50,000 to create a new online youth centre which aims to educate, empower and inspire young people who have experienced trauma or disadvantage and to break negative cycles through the power of music.

MMAD CEO, Emma Rork, said around 97 per cent of children and young people have access to the internet.

“Throughout COVID-19 we have seen an increasing need for young people to have access to positive programs, support and resources,” Rork said.

“So, we set out to create an online youth centre that would provide all of this for those in need.

“We will be uploading innovative programs on alternative education and personal holistic development using the creative arts as a support.

“There will be master classes, workshops, creative mentoring and creative therapy as well as playlists to help young people navigate through personal situations.

“Podcasts will address the issues young people face and there will be dedicated times for young people to access mentors for support.

“The youth centre will contain opportunities for ongoing connection and for personal growth and development plus a list of support networks providing creative and community support 24/7.”

Rork said she hoped the online youth centre would be operational in time for launch on MMAD Day on December 4.

Other organisations to benefit from the funding are: Central Coast Post School Options – $50,000 (see separate story) to deliver an innovative theatre series for people with a disability; KIDS Foundation – $7,500 to provide children with an essential health education resource to help them understand their role in keeping themselves and others germ free; Waves of Wellness – $12,408 to deliver a tailored Surf Therapy Program that addresses the mental health impacts of COVID; Batyr – $25,000 to expand their ‘Being Herd Pathways’ program; and Life Education NSW – $4,950 to deliver a new Auslan translated online health education series to special needs schools.

Foundation Chair, Jennifer Leslie said the funding would enable vital support services to be delivered to communities that are most vulnerable and have been extremely disadvantaged and marginalised as a result of the pandemic.

“The funding will enable new and improved infrastructure, education and engagement platforms, vital health outreach services, and access for people suffering social or economic marginalisation,” she said.

Terry Collins

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