Lisa Chesters MP has invited successful applicants of the Federal Government Volunteer Grants Program to a special morning tea at her office on Wednesday 22 June in recognition of the work they do.
"I was pleased the Federal Government reinstated the popular Volunteer Grants and I encouraged Central Victorian community organisations to apply for funding,” said Ms Chesters.
"At the time, I said it appeared the Federal Government had found some spare cash to support volunteer based organisations. This was great news!
"In previous years these grants have been very popular with Bendigo and Central Victorian groups and organisations.
"Our volunteers and their organisations do a great job in creating a sense of belonging and social inclusion and building stronger local communities,” said Ms Chesters.
Under the previous Federal Labor Government, almost 200 communities groups in the Bendigo electorate were assisted with these grants, helping more than 10,000 Central Victorian volunteers and their organisations.
“It's great to see the Government has recognised the importance of reinstating this program.
"It's vital that our Government demonstrates strong commitment to supporting the nation’s volunteers and the thousands of community organisations that provide the foundation for volunteering.
“I know from talking with many of these organisations, and their volunteers, the pride and pleasure they get from contributing towards building and supporting a strong, inclusive and vibrant community.
“Across Central Victoria, our volunteers really are unsung heroes of our communities and these grants will help them to continue their vital work.
"Like my annual international Volunteer Day awards, the morning tea at my office is a small way to acknowledge their success and hard work,” said Ms Chesters.
Ms Chesters said organisations can apply for grants of up to $5,000 for a variety of purposes, including buying much needed equipment or helping volunteers with fuel costs, training courses and compulsory background checks.
Applications for Volunteer Grants closed on Wednesday 9 December 2015 and local groups were notified of their success after the Government went into caretaker mode.