The ACT Government is providing an additional $40,000 through the Respite Effect and Recovery Grants to support people with disability, their families, and carers, to help relieve some of the challenges the community are facing during this lockdown.
The grants are an initiative under the ACT COVID-19 Disability Strategy to better support the wellbeing, resilience, and recovery of people with disability, their families, and carers.
Some of the things people applied for in the last round include meals, respite and cleaning services, or hobbies and recreational activities. Many people also applied for devices to better connect with their families, friends and community and some applied for financial support to pay for bills.
Minister of Disability, Emma Davidson said the funding has been made available after consultation with sector stakeholders and a successful and positive first round of Respite Effect and Recovery grants earlier this year.
“Lockdown is an overwhelming period for a lot of people in our community. These grants will support the individual needs of Canberrans with disability, their families and carers. We received a lot of positive feedback from the first round of these grants from people with disability and the sector,” Minister Davidson said.
“We listened to the feedback about how the first release of the grants helped relieve some of the pressures experienced at home during COVID-19. Many people felt isolated, lost connections with family and friends, and felt great loss of the programs and activities that suddenly ceased.
“This is a short-term response to make sure that as many people as possible can receive some additional support during this lockdown.”
Meridian, a community-controlled, peer-led organisation that provides health and social support services to the ACT community, received a significant volume of positive feedback from their clients about the first round of grants.
Philippa Moss, Chief Executive Officer of Meridian said that those who use their services were supportive of being able to apply for the grant through their organisation without a timely or layered assessment process.
“People who use our services profoundly appreciated being trusted that they needed this grant, not only by the organisation supporting them, but also by the ACT Government. We thank the Office of Disability and Minister Davidson for enabling us to support our LGBTIQA+ people living with disability in such an effective, respectful and powerful way," Ms Moss said.
A number of community partners can help people apply for a grant, including: ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS), Advocacy for Inclusion, Women with Disability ACT, Australian Red Cross, Meridian, Carers ACT, Communities at Work, the Multicultural Hub, Woden Community Services and Capital Region Community Services.
People not connected to these organisations can contact the Office for Disability who will assist with processing an. Email OfficeforDisability@act.gov.au or call 6207 1086.
The grants will close on 27 September, unless funding is exhausted before this date. Applications are not available to people who received funding in the first round of the grants to make sure as many people in the community as possible have access to the funding.
Applications can be made here: https://www.communityservices.act.gov.au/home/grants