Merrifield Community Partnerships Program – Grant Recipients Announced
Through an initiative funded by the developers of Merrifield (MAB and GPC), eight local community-minded projects have been awarded grants via the 2023 Merrifield Community Partnerships Program.
Merrifield is Victoria’s largest mixed-use masterplanned community and is already home to over 8,000 people.
Since 2017, a total of $230,000 worth of grants (consisting of 33 individual grants) have been awarded to successful recipients via the Merrifield Community Partnerships Program. The program is a community funding initiative for individuals, groups and businesses looking to partner with Merrifield to meet the needs of this fast-growing and vibrant community. The program offers grants ranging from $500 and up to $10,000 across four categories: culture, health, connected and smart.
This year, Music Playgroup, Community Playgroup, Women’s Social Club, Merrifield Social Grass Volleyball and Yoga Classes are among some of the first-time recipients to receive funding from the current program.
Sidra Fahim, the successful recipient for three grants – Music Playgroup, Community Playgroup and a Women’s Social Club, is thrilled that her programs were successful in receiving funding through the program, which will allow her to deliver valuable learning and social opportunities for children and women in Merrifield.
“I’m passionate about giving something back to the Merrifield community and I am so excited to be delivering three programs through the Merrifield Community Partnerships Program that will build even stronger connections and new friendships,” she said.
Georgina Dymock from The Bush Bus is excited that The Bush Bus program was successful again in receiving funding through the program, which will deliver more mobile nature-based playgroup sessions for the Merrifield community.
“After running a very successful program in 2021, we are so happy to be back again to make a difference and facilitate fun in an outdoor learning environment for the parents and children in Merrifield” she said.
Merrifield Eco Kids by Green Earth Kids and Merrifield Chess Club have both also been successful again in receiving grants for their respective programs, to be held at the Mickleham North Community Centre.
Merrifield Community and Stakeholder Engagement Lead, Greg Jacobs was impressed by the quality of submissions and the important projects dedicated to nurturing and growing the health and wellbeing of the Merrifield community.
“This year we were pleased to see a rise in the number of new exciting programs – from grassroots groups, playgroups and key community services, it’s fantastic to see these great initiatives coming from our local community,” he said.
Photo credit: The Northern Star Weekly, Damjan Janevski.
The full list of Merrifield Community Partnerships Program 2023 recipients include:
• Music Playgroup – Music Playgroup seeks to create a vibrant and inclusive space where kids of ages between 0-5yr can discover, explore, and express themselves through music. By offering a series of interactive workshops, classes, and events, the project aims to enhance the overall cultural and social fabric of the Merrifield community.
• Community Playgroup – Our Community Playgroup initiative is a vibrant and inclusive project aimed at fostering early childhood development within our local community. Recognizing the critical role that early experiences play in shaping a child’s future, our playgroup provides a supportive and stimulating environment for children aged 0-5 years old to learn, play, and grow together.
• Yoga Classes – The Community Yoga Group Project is a dual-purpose initiative aimed at making yoga accessible and beneficial for diverse communities. In local community spaces, affordable all-level yoga classes are conducted, fostering inclusivity and inviting individuals from various backgrounds to experience the physical and mental benefits of yoga.
• Women’s Social Club – Women’s Social Club, a vibrant social club designed to foster connection, empowerment, and a sense of community among the diverse and dynamic women of Merrifield. This project seeks to create a supportive and inclusive space where women of all backgrounds can come together to share experiences, build friendships, and engage in activities that promote personal growth and community bonding. Club will organize regular networking events that provide women in Merrifield with opportunities to connect, share stories, and build relationships.
• Merrifield Social Grass Volleyball – To establish a social grass volleyball league within the Merrifield community which will offer teams to participate in a weekly game of social grass volleyball across 6 weeks leading into summer.
• Merrifield Eco Kids – Green Earth Kids will facilitate 1 nature-based playgroup and 1 Eco Craft and Play session per term for 2024. Playgroup sessions will include musical instruments and songs, a story, themed sensory nature play and free time to explore the interactive space. Eco Craft and Play sessions will include a discussion about environmental issues/facts related to the theme, play trays and set ups (wooden puzzles/games etc) and a recycled or nature craft activity where the children make a creation to take home.
• The Bush Bus Merrifield – The Bush Bus is a free mobile nature playgroup that welcomes everyone with children aged from 0 – 6 years old to play freely in a bush or park setting. Children and their families or carers will participate in activities such as nature inspired arts and crafts, water, mud and puddle play, sensory imaginative play and educational nature walks and talks to uncover the indigenous flora and fauna of their local area and on-Country.
• Merrifield Chess Club – The chess lessons consists of teaching the basics on how to move and capture with the pieces, specialist advice on specific pieces, how to properly set-up the board and about 30 minutes of playtime. After 10 sessions, beginners will know how to start playing and enjoy the game.