Lithgow's Family First Credit Union held their community support grants function on Tuesday, May 14.
A total of 15 recipients from the Lithgow area were in attendance with the bank giving out a total of $9000.
Chief Executive Officer Darryl Macauley said he was proud of what the different organisations were achieving and was glad he could be part of that.
"We hope these funds that we give out can continue to make the community a better place," he said.
According to Mr Macauley, this year their four areas of operation (Lithgow, Mudgee, Blackheath and Bathurst) have committed $27,600 across 41 community support organisations.
"In the last 10 years Family First have donated $232,715 to a large number of recipients in our four areas in an attempt to better the communities that we live in," he said.
Mr Macauley said the Family First Credit Union does this for the community because the community supports their business.
"We view ourselves as a socially responsible corporate within our communities and that is firmly embedded within our objectives and mission," he said.
"We care as an organisation about the communities we operate within and we feel the pain when something goes wrong within it, we want to make sure that the communities that we operate within are the best they possibly can be."
Each group was asked to speak about their organisation and what they will spend their funding on.
Aunty Helen Riley said the Mingaan Wiradjuri Aboriginal Crop would spend the money to help protect the site.
"The money will also go towards our NAIDOC Day this year," she said.
Susan and Ross Eckford who are going on a trek to spread the word about the Starlight foundation said the money they receive would go towards the total they had to earn.
"We are trying to raise as much money as we can, which will go towards children's wishes, rooms at hospitals while getting treatment and more," Susan Eckford said.
Lithgow VRA member Jeanne Bennett said the donation they received would go towards a new stokes litter stretcher.
"These are used in specialised rescues, and will be very helpful for our team," she said.
Lithgow Film Society member Al Ritchie spoke of how Lithgow use to have three cinemas but now is down to a community run movie show.
"We have been running it for 15 years, so this money will go towards amenities for people, such as a freezer to keep items cool for our half time break," he said.
Gang Gang Gallery owner Sharon Howard said the donation would be going towards having a youth exhibition.
"We have a strong art community, and we want to showcase to the people outside of the area what Lithgow is capable of, so the money will be used as a youth prize," she said.
Businesses such as Glenn Ray Disability services said they would use the money for new technology for their clients, so they could have a safe place to use the internet.
Lithgow Age Care is looking into getting cutting and shampoo chairs for their hairdressing salons on site for people who can't leave the facility, while Lithgow Division Legacy is planning on using the money to take widows and widowers on an excursion.
Each organisation received a different amount of money to go towards something that would benefit the community:
- One Mob Aboriginal - $450
- Can Assist Lithgow - $1000
- Mingaan Aboriginal Crop- $500
- Christmas and Beyond - $1000
- Lithgow Bears - $500
- Hartley Advisory - $500
- Glenn Ray disability services - $1000
- Gang Gang Gallery - $500
- Lithgow Branch Red Cross - $800
- Lithgow Age Care - $350
- Lithgow VRA - $500
- Rydal Village Association - $350
- Lithgow Division Legacy - $1000
- Starlight trek for kids - $300
- Film Society - $250
Future Community Supports Grant presentations will be run in Mudgee on Tuesday, May 21, Blackheath on Thursday, May 23 and Bathurst on Tuesday, May 28.
The Lithgow branch of the credit union has committed $16,200 to a Lithgow Youth Forum which is aimed at year 9 and 10 students within Lithgow in preparation of the opening of HeadSpace in Lithgow.
HeadSpace community engagement officer, Carolyn Fisher was on hand to talk about HeadSpace opening in the coming weeks.
"We want to be able to reduce the community stigma around mental health, and we want to support that help seeking behaviour," she said.
"It is very generous of the Family First Credit Union to support our youth forum that we plan on putting on during term three this year to six different high schools."
Mr Macauley said after an ex-employee's son committed suicide, it really hit home how important it was for them to support mental health work.
"Since launching our mental health initiative back in November 2017, we have raised just under $45,000 in 18 months," he said.
"We will continue to raise these funds for the education, support and appropriate services to mental health sufferers."
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