Well-Being Grants to Support Farming Communities

Our Well-Being Grants to Support Farming Communities will provide small to large grants of between $1,000 (ex GST) and $50,000 (ex GST) to organisations and community-led initiatives that will help support the mental health, long-term well-being and resilience of farming communities.

We are funding these grants through the Federal Government’s Empowering our Communities initiative, which aims to help farmers, families and communities deal with the uncertainty, stress and anxiety of drought conditions.

Significant parts of our region have been identified as being impacted by drought and the objective of these grants is to support organisations and community-led initiatives which will promote individual and community resilience and help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

There are three levels of grants available:

  1. Small: up to $2,500 (ex GST)
  2. Medium: $2,501 – $10,000 (ex GST)
  3. Large: $10,001 – $50,000 (ex GST)

How to Apply

  1. Read the Well-Being Grants to Support Farming Communities Application Guidelines to understand all the eligibility criteria.
  2. Download and complete the Well-Being Grants to Support Farming Communities Application Form (PDF 318kb).
  3. Submit your application form (or a document that addresses the application's questions) and any supporting material via email or post (as per details provided in the Application Guidelines) by one of the dates below.

An Evaluation Panel will consider applications in rounds:

  • Round 1: applications closed.

  • Round 2: applicationsclosed.

  • Round 3: applications closed.

  • Round 4: applications closed.

  • Round 5: applications closed.

Round 5 has now closed and applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application by the end of April.

Further Information

If you have any questions about the Grants, please contact Nicole Parsons on 4708 8191 or via our online contact us form.

Funded Projects, Programs & Services

Due to COVID-19 and the recommendations surrounding physical distancing and large gatherings, some of our grants have been temporarily paused.

Our team have been working hard with our grant recipients and commissioned services to determine those that can be adapted to suit the current climate. The following projects have been able to adjust their activities to either be delivered online or in a COVID safe environment:

Barrinang Inc.: Providing support to develop and maintain good mental health and well-being through a variety of activities, such as on-country experience, art classes and more. (Lithgow)

Central Tablelands and Blue Mountains Community Legal Centre:A solicitor will be providing free legal support to identified areas of need.

Hawkesbury Be & Co.: Be & Co. focuses on community connectedness and reducing social isolation. This will continue every Thursday via zoom sessions. - Return face to face date to be announced (Hawkesbury)

Hawkesbury Community Outreach Services: Providing Food Packages to disadvantaged areas with a demonstration garden available to allow residents to grow and pick fruits and vegetables. (Hawkesbury)

Leep NGO: Taking the 'Farmers and Friends Online' project completely online, participants will have access to a 'Tech Mate' that can help them with digital tasks such as ordering groceries and staying connected with family and friends. (Lithgow, online only)

Lithgow Area Women’s Shed This project will deliver skills workshops to the community, focusing on practical skills for socially and geographically isolated women.(Lithgow)

Lithgow City Council - The Farming Strong project will promote mental health and well-being by equipping farmers with knowledge to design and implement innovative solutions, helping to build great business viability.(Lithgow)

Lithgow Information & Neighbourhood Centre: Delivering resilience workshops within the community focused on the resilience doughnut model. (Lithgow, face to face and online)

Lithgow Life Skills: Encouraging socialisation and stress reduction while teaching new coping mechanisms through the delivery of DBT & Art As Therapy.(Lithgow)

Macdonald Valley Association: Providing community-based assistance to people in need, improving knowledge and connectedness, facilitate visits by professional service providers and the training of volunteers who are leading and advocating groups in need.(Hawkesbury)

Mid Mountains Community Gardens: This project will focus on improving accessibility to their garden. (Blue Mountains, limited face to face)

PA2Health: A four week digital well-being program, offering video and audio tools in stress management, healthy recipe packs, dietary information, nutrition tips, fitness videos, weekly challenges, daily values-based messages and regular check-ins. (Nepean Blue Mountains Region, online only)

Rainbow Lithgow Monthly group counselling & outreach casework support for LGBTQIA+ individuals, and an art exhibition for members of this community. (Lithgow, limited face to face)

St Albans Men's Shed on Wheels: Hosting 'Mechanics in Residence' shed sessions with experts on hand to check the community's vehicles and farm equipment, 'School Boxcar Racers and Lantern Making Activity' and a 'Country Fair Swap Meet' event.(Hawkesbury)

St Alban's RFS: Delivering the 'St Albans Pioneer Trail Run and Events' project to promote mental health, well-being, and socialisation in the St Albans local community by holding a number of gatherings throughout the year. (Hawkesbury)

Suicide Awareness 'Let's Talk Lithgow': Social Circus is an innovative way to engage with people, improve overall mental health and well-being, connectedness and self-worth through the use of social circus arts. (Lithgow, face to face)

Commissioned Services

Lifeline Australia: Gatekeeper Training designed to teach individuals who have regular contact with others in their community (i.e. “gatekeepers”) to recognise and respond to people at potential risk of suicide, to support those who are bereaved by suicide or those who have lived experience. (Hawkesbury & Lithgow)

Red Cross Australia: Mental Health Matters is a short course to encourage early intervention and a
supportive culture to help reduce the impact of mental health issues. Dates TBA. (Nepean Blue Mountains)

The below activities are currently on pause or have concluded:

Australian Ecosystems Foundation Inc.(AFEI): Utilising walking tracks to provide a space where Aboriginal Youth can participate in walk ‘n’ talks with local Aboriginal elders and be involved in care and conservation of native Australian animals. Paused due to COVID-19. (Lithgow)

Capertee Valley Landcare: Bush walks highlighting the link between mental and physical health. Now concluded.

Capertee Valley Landcare Inc. & Cementa Contemporary Arts Festival: Four events over a one-year period that will focus on restoring the hydration of the valley.(Lithgow)

Hawkesbury Remakery: This project’s focus is to build awareness and provide training opportunities through a hub for creative and sustainable craft practices, as well as up-skill staff, makers in residence, and volunteers in mental health literacy.(Hawkesbury)

Lithgow Public School: Promoting mental health and well-being for children living in rural and regional areas within the Lithgow LGA using a Movement Sensory Modulation Pod located within the school.(Lithgow) Now concluded.

Mulgoa Valley Landcare: A spotlighting adventure for local families to participate in learning about nocturnal animals and native flora and fauna. The activity will encourage social connectivity through fostering the development of new relationships in the community with an additional focus on promoting the importance of looking after mental health and well-being. (Penrith)

Peppercorn Services INC.: Supporting men to connect through community led gatherings and facilitated 'Tomorrow Man' workshops.(Hawkesbury)

Rural Aid: Rural Aid will promote mental health and well-being by introducing a pilot program facilitating regular peer support groups, follow-up, and on-going phone/face-to-face counselling support.(Lithgow)

Scouts Australia: Utilising a 'Train the Trainer' approach, Scouts Australia will deliver Youth Mental Health First Aid Training for Scout Leaders. This training will provide them with additional skills to assist them in working with youth who may be experiencing mental health challenges, and enable leaders to train others.(Nepean Blue Mountains)​

St Albans Common Trustees: Community events including musters, information sharing, mental health skills training, an annual gala night and the documentation and recording of local history to foster social connectedness.(Hawkesbury)

Strong Nation Community Services: Delivering Mindfulness Well-Being Workshops to promote mental health and well-being in the Hawkesbury community.(Hawkesbury)

Tarana Farmer’s Market: Promoting an ongoing program of events to improve farm community health and well-being as well as build resilience within drought affected farming communities.(Lithgow)

The Big Fix: Working with the general community, and young people in particular, to gather stories and provide a variety of training in community and farming innovation, regeneration, mental health, resilience, and sustainability, marketing and digital media. (Blue Mountains)

Trybal Productions: Theatre Show incorporating the lived experience of community members through spoken word, art, poetry and music. Now concluded.

University of Newcastle, Centre for Rural & Remote Health: Farmer-health focused events reaching out to farmers offering physical and mental health 'check-ins', Q-Fever vaccinations and a vet-related farm dog health examination.(Lithgow)

Commissioned Services

Marathon Health NewAccess: Developed by Beyond Blue, is an in-person or over the phone free mental health coaching program for anyone aged 16 and over. Now concluded.

R U OK? Campaign: R U OK? Ambassador, Garry Sims, will deliver interactive and engaging presentations across the Nepean Blue Mountains region. The presentations will highlight the importance of social connections and empower and inspire others to listen, take action and support those experiencing mental health challenges. (Nepean Blue Mountains)