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Supporting locals in Bendigo to eat well, move more and stay connected.

Eight local organisations, clubs and groups in the Bendigo area will share in $3million of VicHealth funding to help their communities reconnect and improve their health following the impacts of coronavirus.

We Ride Australia, Bendigo Community Toy Library, Raywood Tennis Club, Bike Bendigo, Interchange Loddon Mallee Region, Maldon Tennis Club, Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services and Bendigo Senjuns Hockey Club are among the organisations to receive a VicHealth Reimagining Health Grant to help locals build better social connections with each other and the community and provide greater opportunities for physical activity.

Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell welcomed the funding which supports those in the community who need it most.

“This much-needed funding from VicHealth aims to ensure local organisations can continue supporting our community to get their health and wellbeing back on track in 2021 and beyond,” Ms Lovell said.

“Bendigo’s grassroots organisations understand our communities needs and can deliver locally-led solutions to empower local residents to improve their health and wellbeing in the wake of the pandemic.”

VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio said community organisations play a vital role in helping Victorians hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the Victorian bushfires to connect and take care of their wellbeing.

“This funding is about empowering fantastic grassroots organisations so Victorians facing disadvantage can enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of being active, eating healthy food and being socially connected,” Dr Demaio said.

“Protecting our health and wellbeing is more important than ever, so we’re thrilled to be able to help more Victorians enjoy better health and wellbeing through the direct support of their local clubs, organisations and community groups.”

Grant recipients in the Bendigo area are:

We Ride Australia – $10,000 to produce resources to promote bicycle riding across five Victorian Local Government Areas by increasing awareness of safe routes and promoting active travel on safe connected routes to desired local destinations;

Bendigo Community Toy Library – $4,750 to purchase a range of ride-on equipment such as skateboards, scooters, and bikes for children under 12 years. The equipment will help children to be more active and will be available to loan for community members in the Long Gully and Spring Gully areas;

Raywood Tennis Club – $3,000 to create a 15-week program to engage more people in the sport from the Raywood district. This will provide people with the chance to play locally rather than needing to travel to play. A light meal will be provided after the session, providing another opportunity for social connection;

Bike Bendigo – $14,970 to establish a supportive ride to school program for young people transitioning to secondary school. The program will provide bike maintenance skills, route planning, road safety workshops and riding groups to promote active travel and foster stronger relationships between students;

Interchange Loddon Mallee Region – $48,156 to support their network of 29 regional Neighbourhood Houses to run a person-centred physical activity program in Bendigo. The program will see 60 young people (aged 5-25 years) with living with disability, assisted to increase their level of physical activity through participation in a sport or physical activity of their choice;

Maldon Tennis Club – $3,775 to create more opportunities for locals to play tennis. They will introduce regular open court sessions and Tennis Twos, as well as subsidising the cost of coaching for children and young people. They will also run a Train the Trainer session to skill-up Maldon Tennis Club volunteers;

Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services – $2,818 to deliver a 10-week yoga program tailored for women experiencing hardship in Bendigo and the surrounding region. The funds will be used to hire a specialised trauma-informed yoga facilitator to design and deliver the program;

Bendigo Senjuns Hockey Club – $2,448 to provide U13 and U15 junior team players with uniforms, encouraging participation by reducing financial barriers.

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Media Contact:  Jason Kelly         0413 103 240  

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