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Grant supports community change

A TASMANIAN Community Fund (TCF) grant of more than $239,000 for the Grace Centre to create an inclusive community meeting and training space has helped support a community-led change in the Clarence Plains area.

Owned by the Grace Christian Church, the Grace Centre has acted as a hub for community groups and events and exists to contribute to the development of the local communities of Rokeby, Clarendon Vale and the surrounding suburbs of Clarence Plains.

The TCF grant will help make the centre more accessible to the whole community by renovating the toilets to allow full disabled access, upgrading the entrance way and constructing a disabled parking bay in close proximity to the entrance.

“It’s all about disability access and making the centre accessible to everybody in the community rather than simply able-bodied people,” Grace Church senior minister Dermot Cottuli said.

“For us, the grant means that every single person in our community will have access to the office spaces, training area and community spaces we have here – no one is going to get discriminated against.”

Mr Cottuli said the creation of an all-accessible community meeting hub for Clarence Plains would feed into the bigger picture of community development and enhancement that is being undertaken by a collective of organisations and Clarence City Council.

“It’s a case of looking at what everybody else is doing in the community and asking the question of how we can support what they’re doing, so we simply have gone out and started to help the local organisations do what they’re doing,” he said.

The project is expected to be finished by November, with the next step including the installation of a fully functional commercial kitchen to train young people in the area and provide emergency relief provision.

The TCF has provided nearly $3 million to 71 projects throughout Tasmania in its latest grant round.

TCF chairperson Sally Darke said the grants would make a positive difference in the lives of many individuals and communities.

“The TCF Board is proud to be able to support so many worthwhile projects and programs in Tasmania through these grants,” she said.

“After distributing our $100 millionth dollar from the Fund early last year, it is important for us to continue to meet the changing needs of the Tasmanian community, and improving infrastructure is certainly one of those areas.

“The TCF continues to strategically evolve its funding programs to better meet the needs of Tasmanians by focusing on workforce engagement, community wellbeing and community infrastructure.”

The Fund’s next general grant round, round 40, will open on 25 January 2020.

Guidelines and links to application forms will be available on the website at www.tascomfund.org or by contacting the TCF office on telephone 6165 8333.

The Tasmanian Community Fund was established in 1999 following the sale of the Trust Bank.

Caption: Grace Church senior minister Dermot Cottuli is excited for the new upgrades at the Grace Centre.

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About the Author: Eastern Shore Sun

The Eastern Shore Sun is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 30,000 homes and businesses in the communities of Clarence and Sorell. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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