Saturday, June 22, 2024

Small grants make big impact on community health

  • September 6 2023
  • By Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter    

GUYSBOROUGH — What can a few thousand dollars achieve when granted to community organizations? A lot. Every year, the Guysborough Community Health Board (CHB), a non-profit volunteer organization funded through Nova Scotia Health (NSH), awards full funding for projects in the community that address the organization’s health plan priorities: food security, poverty, social inclusion and early childhood development.

This year, the Guysborough CHB received 21 wellness fund applications from non-profit organizations, totaling $47,852, and were able to fund eight projects with their allotted funding of just more than $12,000.

Municipality of the District of Guysborough Councillor Paul Long sits on the CHB, as the representative for the municipality, and is a member of the committee that assesses grant applications. He told The Journal that there were many impressive applications this year, and the decision process for what applications are approved takes into account other possible funding opportunities an organization may pursue, as well as the amount needed for the project; wellness grants must meet the full funding requirements of a project in order to be approved to ensure the project can move forward.

Long also said that the funding committee tries to spread the grants throughout Guysborough County, “so it’s not all centered in one spot.”

As for the grants, Long said they’re valuable, “Because without those projects, without those community groups having access to funding, then they wouldn’t be able to do the activities that they want to do in their communities, which are well-deserved projects...It’s serving a lot of people. You don’t think that $12,000 or $13,000 is a lot of money but, when it’s $3,000 or $4,000 into communities that [funds] a service, whether it’s meals or a gathering of some sort, that goes a long way to developing community atmosphere and then developing other opportunities for other projects.”

The 2023 wellness fund projects are: Upper Big Tracadie Seniors Action Club – Knowledge Keepers; Goshen Community Centre – senior socials; Guysborough & Area Dementia Support Group – It Takes A Village Festival; A Roof Over Your Head – collaborative support services event; Kids First Family Resource, Guysborough County – Canada prenatal nutrition program; Guysborough Housing Network – building housing capacity in Guysborough County; Canso & Area Childcare Association – Play With Me: a mental health and wellness fair for children 5 and under; Town of Mulgrave youth council project – Mulgrave Community Garden.

The next intake date for wellness fund applications will be announced this coming spring.

Anyone wishing to join the Guysborough CHB is encouraged to contact Dorothy Bennett, CHB coordinator, at 902-867-4500 (ext.4272) or at dorothy.bennett@nshealth.ca.