These grants fund locally led initiatives and events that promote social resilience, and improve community connectedness.
- Status: Closed
- Grant amount: From $75,001 to $300,000
- Application opened: 5 April 2022
- Application closed: 2 May 2022
These grants support communities to recover from the necessary social restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pathway 1 grants will fund larger scale projects that will be completed over a longer period, up to 22 months.
The program objectives and priority strategies of Pathway 1 are to:
- provide opportunities for communities affected by COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns to improve and promote individual and collective wellbeing at a local or regional level
- strengthen local networks and social connections that support the longer-term wellbeing and resilience of communities
- fund initiatives and events that enhance
- community resilience and
- capacity to foster and maintain wellbeing and social connectedness of individuals and communities.
Pathway 1 grants are one of three pathways of grants offered in this program. Additional funding may be provided after 12 months to Pathway 1 projects subject to assessment. For more information on additional funding refer to the Program funding model section in theCOVID-19 Community Connection and Wellbeing Program Pathway 1 and 2 guidelines (PDF 305.1KB)
Pathway 2 of the program offers between $10,001 and $75,000 for small-to-medium-scale, short-term projects that focus on local needs.
Pathway 3 of the program offers between $1,000 and $10,000 for small projects or events that focus on local needs (can be delivered within 1-6 months). This pathway is not open to local councils or joint organisations of councils.
The program has several intended outcomes:
- people are given opportunities to reconnect and re-engage with their communities to improve their social connectedness and wellbeing.
- community members experience increased confidence and capability to foster and maintain their wellbeing and support the wellbeing of others.
- communities have greater access to opportunities and resources to support their wellbeing.
- communities are more resilient to the social impacts of the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic and other future disaster events.
The program encourages applications for different approaches to enhancing social connectedness in local communities as well as building the capacity of individuals, families and communities to maintain their wellbeing in the future. Funded programs can focus on a range of activities to reflect the diversity of needs in their local community.
This program is funded and administered by NSW Reconstruction Authority.
Who can apply
The following applicants are eligible for funding:
- charitable and not-for-profit organisations
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations
- local councils
- joint organisations of councils
- unincorporated community groups auspiced by an organisation eligible to apply in its own right.
‘Auspice’ is defined as an incorporated organisation that receives, administers and acquits NSW Government funding on behalf of an applicant (for more about auspicing, see the 'Address the eligibility criteria' section below).
Who can’t apply
Funding is not available to:
- unincorporated community groups not auspiced by an organisation that is eligible to apply in its own right
- organisations or businesses that may, or will, realise a commercial gain from the project.
If for-profit businesses are to be contracted by the applicant this should be specified in the program budget.
Types of project funded under this grant
Programs could include:
- community events and social activities to support community recovery and capacity building
- recreational programs to improve wellbeing and strengthen community engagement and connectedness
- cultural and community connection programs and activities
- programs to support the connection and wellbeing of highly impacted community segments
- programs that encourage and support community cooperation and the idea of ‘mutual aid’
- partnerships between non-government organisations, councils and community groups to deliver structured programs of social support and other activities that achieve the intended outcomes.
What you can't apply for
Projects ineligible for funding include:
- clinical mental health interventions (such as psychology or psychotherapy services)
- projects that provide direct commercial or exclusive benefit to a business not directly related to the project
- projects and/or activities that do not meet and address the program criteria
- projects that are a duplication of existing programs available in the community
- projects with an existing funding source
- infrastructure projects (such as building works or structural repairs).
- projects that have already commenced and are requesting retrospective funding or the project is complete.
Eligible project costs
Examples of eligible project costs are:
- materials essential to project delivery
- event series operational costs (such as marquee hire, fencing, staging and audio/visual equipment)
- workshop facilitator fees
- entertainment costs (such as guest speaker, performer or MC fees)
- activity catering
- project management staff (note: permanent staff costs are not eligible for funding)
- COVID-related personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves, and items to host COVID-safe events such as sanitiser and signage.
Ineligible project costs
Project costs ineligible for funding include:
- capital works (such as building works, redecorating and/or building improvement of existing spaces, purchase of capital items such as vehicles and boats)
- day-to-day activities, including supplementing, increasing or continuing ongoing service delivery that is the core business of the organisation
- retrospective activities or costs, such as work already undertaken, part-completed or that will commence by the applicant before the funding decision is made
- permanent staff members
- costs incurred beyond the life of the project
- administration costs that are considered core business of the applicant
- general administration costs (organisational overheads) totalling more than 10% of the total funding requested
- application preparation
- vehicle and office equipment leasing, unless directly related to the delivery of the project
- remuneration of executive officers, and existing employees for work not directly related to the project.
In accordance with the Program Guidelines for Pathway 1, successful recipients can apply for additional ‘top up’ funding for extension activities by way of a variation request process at the 12-month milestone.
Pathway 1 projects eligible for ‘top up’ funding must demonstrate:
- Project is meeting all relevant performance benchmarks in their Funding Agreement
- Grantees must demonstrate they have the capacity to ‘scale up’ and effectively employ the additional funding to enhance original outcomes
- They must not be demonstrating any signs of reputational risk (for example, by attracting negative stakeholder attention).
The table below shows the total awarded funding to Pathway 1 projects including approved ‘top up’ funds.
Pathway 1 recipient
Learning Community and Education Hub (‘TLC’) – a placemaking project
Taree Universities Campus
Community Trauma Care Training for COVID-19 Recovery
To Your Door
Think & DO Tank Foundation
Youth Peer Support
Connecting Baalijin Kids to the Community
3rd Space Mob Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation
The ReCommunity Project
Mid North Coast Community College
Kitchen in the Hood - Coffee Catch Ups
Albury Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau
Playgroups – building connections – enhancing strengths
Junaya Family Development Services Inc
Social Engagement and Community Empowerment Project - SEACEP
Gunida Gunyah Aboriginal Corporation
What your application needs to include
You can download the complete
You can also read
To be eligible for funding, projects must:
- respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on the community
- address one of more of the program objectives
- be delivered in a COVID-safe environment and have contingency plans in place to respond to changes in NSW public health orders
- be ready to commence within 2 months of receiving funding.
The specific scope of work and key milestones of the project must be defined in the application. These will form the basis of project reporting for successful projects.
The impact of COVID-19 has been significant across regional, rural and metropolitan communities, and the COVID-19 Community Connection and Wellbeing Program welcomes applications from across NSW.
The dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic suggests that case numbers across local government areas and regional areas of NSW will continue to fluctuate. Applicants should demonstrate the geographic reach of the proposed project and offer evidence of the impact of COVID-19 specific to their location. Applications will be assessed with consideration of current health advice and restrictions at the time of application.
‘Auspice’ is defined as an incorporated organisation that receives, administers and acquits NSW Government funding on behalf of an applicant.
The auspice is required to:
- enter into a funding agreement with Resilience NSW
- accept grant funds and pay the auspiced grant applicant
- monitor and acquit the use of funds at the completion of the project.
Ideally, the auspice will have the technical skills to guide and support the applicant in the delivery of the project, while acknowledging project decisions remain with the applicant.
Applications developed in partnership between local councils and local community groups are strongly encouraged for the purpose of maximising the reach and efficacy of a proposed project.
If partnering is an element of your application, documented evidence of the partnership (or at least an intent to partner) must be included in the online application. Such evidence can be letters of support from partner organisations and/or from community representatives.
Each project should have a clearly identified lead agency that has:
- the capacity and capabilities to establish, manage and be held accountable for the delivery of the project and intended outcomes
- the ability to report on the progress and agreed outcomes of the project
- the ability to enter a legally binding funding agreement with the NSW Government.
All communities in NSW were impacted by COVID-19 health restrictions and lockdowns in some way. However, the following groups were more adversely affected and are considered a priority:
- essential workers
- older people
- children, young people and their carers
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- people experiencing family, domestic and sexual violence
- culturally and linguistically diverse groups
- those experiencing compound disasters
- those in direct contact with COVID-19
- people with disability
- LGBTI and other sexuality, gender and bodily diverse people
- rural and remote communities.
All applications were assessed against the following criteria:
|Criteria||Sub criteria||Weighting (out of 100)|
Applicants should provide a project description outlining what will be delivered. This should include:
|Potential impact / benefits||
Applicants should demonstrate:
|Capability to deliver||
Applicants should demonstrate their capacity to deliver the project and how the project will be managed including reference to:
|Value for money||
The budget should be reasonable, based on valid cost estimates and detail:
Start the application
This grant is now closed.
After the application is submitted
The assessment process
All submitted applications were initially assessed for eligibility by the Resilience NSW Investment and Grants branch. Eligible applications then proceeded to an appointed panel for assessment.
The assessment panel was made up of subject matter experts and delegates from Resilience NSW, NSW Health and the non-government sector.
The process followed by the assessment panel was independently reviewed, and recommendations for funding were made to the Resilience NSW Grants Subcommittee for endorsement. The assessment panel may have recommended part-funding of projects. The final funding approval decision was the responsibility of the Commissioner of Resilience NSW.
Projects must not have commenced prior to being approved for funding by Resilience NSW and execution of a funding agreement. Applicants were informed of the status of their application, in writing, after final funding decisions were made.
Key dates after application
Submission assessment period
3 May to June 2022
Funded projects completed
By 30 June 2024
Acquittal and evaluation
Three months following project completion
Eligible applications were assessed (seeCOVID-19 Community Connection and Wellbeing Program Pathway 1 and 2 guidelines (PDF 305.1KB)
for more information).
Applicants were notified by Resilience NSW of the outcome by email once funding recommendations were confirmed. Decisions made by the assessment panel are final.
The Resilience NSW Investment and Grants branch will provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants on request. Please email requests to CCCWP@resilience.nsw.gov.au
Unsuccessful applicants were notified by Resilience NSW of the outcome by email once funding recommendations were confirmed. Decisions made by the Commissioner of Resilience NSW are final.
The Resilience NSW Investment and Grants branch may provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants as required.
Support and contact
The Program's guidelines and FAQs can be viewed here:COVID-19 Community Connection and Wellbeing Program FAQs (PDF 223.3KB)
For further information and applicant support, please contact the Resilience NSW Investment and Grants branch via email to CCCWP@resilience.nsw.gov.au.