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HomeNewsEasy does it - grant awarded to community transport charity

Easy does it – grant awarded to community transport charity

Easylink, the Northern Beaches based charity that provides transport for elderly and disabled locals, has received a community grant of $16,000 to help their operation.

Founded in 1982 by aged care workers, and catering to over 5,000 customers, the not-for-profit organisation provides affordable and accessible transport solutions to enable people to attend medical appointments, connect with social groups, and undertake shopping and other important activities.

Easylink General Manager Dan Giles revealed that the $16,000 grant enabled them to purchase a machine that helps with their publicity material by folding leaflets and inserting them into envelopes, saving around 160 hours in volunteer labour every mailout.

“Thanks to the grant, we were able to purchase equipment to streamline our newsletter mailout,” he said. “Our printed newsletter is the main way for our 7,000 clients to keep up to date with our services and upcoming events.

“It used to be a massive undertaking, normally taking a working party of staff and volunteers around a week to complete. Now it takes only three and a half hours, freeing up our team to do a lot more value-add work for the community.”

Dan Giles, General Manager of EasyLink, the Northern Beaches transport charity. Photo: Alec Smart

Mackellar Federal MP, Dr Sophie Scamps, joined clients and staff of Easylink Community Services at H20 Café in Narrabeen on 2 February for afternoon tea, to celebrate their receiving the $16,000 community grant. (Dr Scamps provided them assistance with the application process).

“I can’t thank Sophie Scamps enough for her support with this,” Mr Giles said. “The whole grants process was straightforward and the team at Sophie Scamps’ office were extremely friendly and helpful. I’d encourage other community organisations to check out all the grants available in Mackellar.”

The Community Grants, of which $230,000 were awarded across Mackellar electorate in 2023, support small infrastructure projects. Interested applicants apply via an Expression of Interest form online –  Dr Scamps hosts access to the Mackellar Grant Finder on her website.

Thereafter, applications are considered on individual merit by an independent committee of volunteers who have local knowledge and expertise in community needs.

Easylink is one of 40 local community organisations in Mackellar to receive a community grant awarded through Sophie Scamps’ office in 2023.

Mr Giles told Manly Observer, “We have a very limited pool of volunteers available to us, and we’d rather them taking people out, keeping them social and connected, than being stuck in the office folding envelopes.”

Mackellar MP Dr Sophie Scamps with volunteers and staff from EasyLink. Photo: Alec Smart

Does the $16,000 community grant money cover the approximate retail price of the folding machine? Or if Easylink sources a cheaper supplier, do they get to keep the unspent money they’ve saved? Or, conversely, if the retail price increases, are Easylink liable?

“What we did was ran a contestable process for the machine itself, to find the lowest cost solution to the problem that we had,” Mr Giles explained. “And then we put that solution in the grant. So before putting the grant application together, we made sure that we had value for money.”

Dr Scamps praised Easylink when she joined the team and service users for the afternoon tea at H20 Café.

“Easylink provides a vital service for many vulnerable members of our community, who need help to get to medical appointments, get out to the shops or just get out and about to socialise and enjoy some quality time with friends,” she said.

“Volunteers and community groups make such a positive contribution and provide generous support in our community. They help make Mackellar a caring and vibrant place to live and work, and I’ll always do everything I can to support them.”

Easylink: https://easylink.com.au/

To volunteer with Easylink, visit https://easylink.com.au/volunteer/


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