Inclusive swimming for Eden now a reality thanks to ClubGRANT

Eden’s Lap It Up club has received an $8,000 ClubGRANT for the installation of accessible stairs at Eden Memorial Swimming Pool, under the auspices of the Eden Community Access Centre (ECAC).

The funding now means the group can move ahead with commissioning purpose-built steps that allow safe and inclusive access to the pool for people with disability, older people and people with mobility issues.

Lap It Up member Joy Kent said the order for the stairs has now been placed and installation is expected to occur by early October this year.

“It’s such a wonderful outcome. Once the stairs are installed, so many more people will be able to enjoy the pool and participate in regular exercise. It’s a real win for the health and well-being of the community and we are very grateful to the ClubGRANTs program for awarding us this money.

“Securing the funding wouldn’t have been possible without the support we’ve received from the Access Centre. Small groups like ours don’t have the legal structures in place to apply for and accept grant funding so working with the Access Centre has been a real gift.”

ECAC Manager Carina Severs said because the Centre has a legal status as an incorporated, not-for-profit organisation, including all the necessary insurances and governance requirements, it can support informal community groups who want to address social need but are not legally able to manage grant funding.

“Applying for and securing this grant is a great example of the work we are increasingly doing to enable projects that otherwise wouldn’t happen.”

Ms Severs said other community-driven projects supported by the Centre included the Eden Mountain Bike Trails, Eden Canoes, the Wonboyn commemorative “Fire on the Water” publication, Clean-Up Curalo Day, and the Rocky Hall Commemorative activities.

“Often these projects involve significant amounts of public money that can only be awarded to an incorporated entity. Depending on the situation, the Centre can help put together grant submissions, take receipt of funds and work with auspiced community groups to manage funding milestones and other grant funding requirements,” Ms Severs said.

“We take the pain out of what can be an onerous and sometimes complicated process.

“When the Centre started out almost 22 years ago, our ambition was to fill the gap that existed for the community around connecting with the internet and with government agencies such as Centrelink and Medicare. We still do that but we have evolved as community needs have evolved. Now we are seeking to respond to issues brought to us by the community and to work collaboratively to solve problems and meet many different needs.”

The Eden Community Access Centre’s mission is to inclusively encourage participation from all groups, to foster positive relations, build community social and economic capacity, develop local solutions to local problems, raise the aspirations of individuals and unlock the potential of the community.

The ClubGRANTS scheme managed by Bega Valley Shire Council, is a shared NSW Government and club industry program funded by gaming machine tax on registered clubs with gaming machine profits in excess of $1 million.

The five clubs represented on the local ClubGRANTS committee with Council are Club Sapphire, Merimbula RSL, Eden Fishermen’s Club, Bermagui Country Club and Club Bega.

You can find out more about ClubGRANTS and all the successful 2022 Bega Valley shire grant recipients here:

Please direct media enquiries to Eden Community Access Centre Inc:

Photo: L to R: Bega Valley Shire Council’s Grant Administration Officer Jayde Rankin, Lap It Up Club’s Joy Kent, ECAC Manager Carina Severs and Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick pictured with the big cheque representing the total amount of ClubGRANTS awarded at today’s ceremony.