Hunter Women's Centre is preparing to establish the Upper Hunter's first trauma-informed domestic violence counselling service for women after receiving a $44,000 grant.
The grant was part of Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation's early release of its December round of funding to benefit projects that address specific community hardship due to COVID-19.
A total of $600,000 will go to 13 projects in the areas of health, social well-being and young people, seven of which are based in the Hunter.
The women's centre was one of the biggest recipients of the funding, receiving $44,218 to expand its service into the Upper Hunter, which manager Kate Saint said was a "well-recognised hotspot" for domestic violence.
She said the centre was one of the few domestic violence organisations in the area who offered trauma-informed counselling, which focuses on the client not having to repeat what has happened to them.
Ms Saint said there was a demand for the service outside Newcastle, but until now they had not been able to expand it.
The money will help fund a program coordinator six days a month, who will meet clients and hold virtual counselling sessions. It will also help facilitate a new program, called Building Healthy Relationships, which will teach people, particularly men, about what a healthy relationship looks like.
"We're wrapped," Ms Saint said. "Because of the demand, this was always just a dream for us. We've had no additional funding since the early 90s.
"We're really excited about it."
Chair of Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Jennifer Leslie said after hearing from different charities and organisations, the foundation wanted to help initiatives which were struggling to obtain funding through the pandemic.
"What we've heard is the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis is yet to come," she said. "This will allow more timely delivery of those services."
The seven Hunter grant recipients:
- Hunter Women's Centre - $44,218 to implement the Upper Hunter's first trauma-informed counselling service for women affected by Domestic Family Violence.
- KIDS Foundation - $12,500 to provide children with an essential health education resource to help them understand their role in keeping themselves and others germ free.
- Waves of Wellness - $24,817 to deliver a tailored Surf Therapy Program that addresses the mental health impacts of COVID for people in Newcastle.
- The Kaden Centre - $48,400 to deliver a web-based Home Exercise Program for people affected by cancer or chronic health conditions throughout the Hunter, enabling continued access to treatment and prevention programs during COVID-19 and beyond.
- Musicians Making a Difference (MMAD) - $9,000 to create a new online youth centre which aims to educate, empower and inspire young people who have experienced trauma or disadvantage and to break negative cycles through the power of music.
- Batyr - $16,500 to expand their 'Being Herd Pathways' program which will enable at-risk youth in the Hunter to create connections with their peers, while collaborating with employment and training providers for future opportunities.
- Life Education NSW - $24,750 to deliver a new Auslan translated online health education series to special needs schools, enabling more children, no matter their location or personal circumstances, to have the same access to health education during and beyond COVID-19.