From increasing awareness about methods of communicating without speaking, to holding Christmas carols and a BBQ for a men’s group, there’s a whole lot of goodwill being spread around the Shire thanks to Council’s inaugural Goodwill Grants.
Nillumbik Shire Council has given grants of around $1500 each to five worthy community groups to help them embody the true meaning of giving and spread cheer across Nillumbik this Christmas.
And Mayor Karen Egan is delighted the grants will have such far-reaching effects.
“This is the spirit of community connectedness at its best! It’s amazing how many people will benefit from each of the grants,” Egan said.
The grants will:
- Provide entertainment and food for the More to Say Communication Project at Diamond Valley Development School at midday on Wednesday 12 December. The informative session will be sandwiched between a concert put on by junior students in the morning and one in the afternoon by senior students, and will be open to the public. Refreshments, a sausage sizzle, balloon animals and a roaming minstrel will be provided. Staff and students will demonstrate different ways of communicating without speaking – also beneficial to those with speech challenges from strokes or other acquired injuries. Methods include sign language, picture communication systems, augmented language displays (24 squares with different pictures on an A4 piece of paper that people can point to), Podd books with 55 different pages of indexed pictures and an Ipad app which reacts to touch or to eyeballs.
- Buy materials for making Boomerang Bags. The group will make a couple of thousand material bags to be handed out free at the Hurstbridge Christmas Market on December 1. Children are encouraged to write their sustainability messages on the bags with fabric markers.
- Provide light and sound equipment for Christmas Carols at the Marngrook Oval, Diamond Creek from 6pm on 16 December, followed by fireworks. St John’s Anglican Church Diamond Creek is helping organise the concert featuring local schools’ choirs and a band comprising musicians from local churches.
- Cater for an open Christmas BBQ held by Older Men New Ideas (OMNI) for all men and women interested in finding out more about the organisation from 11am – 2.30pm on 18 December at the home of Diamond Creek Netball, Diamond Street. Free. There are four OMNI non-profit groups in the Shire where men aged 50 upwards meet every fortnight to chat, listen and forge friendships.
- Converting an old storage room into a wellness area. The Diamond Creek Mindfulness (Reflection & Appreciation) Space at the Diamond Creek Community Centre is being transformed into a wellness space for the community with free classes run over the Goodwill period.
Check out the Nillumbik Shire website for Goodwill events.