In a world after Covid-19, more and more are community members banding together to help local businesses. These members are helping others feel included and cherished, promoting positive health and wellbeing, and improving access to community services and groups.
And as important as it is to continue these efforts, it is also just as important to recognise the individuals who lead them!
Westfield Living Centres across Australia and New Zealand have announced the finalists for the 2021 Westfield Local Heroes Community recognition and grants program! The nominated finalists from 42 Westfield centres now have a chance to receive a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation or group, as voted by their communities.
That is a total of more than $1.2M in community grants from Westfield across Australia and New Zealand!
In its fourth year, the Westfield Local Heroes program aims to continue to promote community role models whose work or contributions create positive benefits for others.
If a nominated member of the community has touched your heart, then make sure to cast your vote here. The voting period commences on Tuesday the 10th of August and closes on Monday the 30th of August.
Some of the community-giving finalists around Perth are:
Simone Blom (Featured Image), Coogee Beach Surf Life Saving Club (Booragoon)
Passionate about giving everyone the chance to learn crucial beach swimming skills, Simone introduced Starfish Nippers to the Coogee Beach Surf Life Saving Club for local children with disabilities. The program provides one-to-one support to enable children to participate in beach and water activities like flag races, swimming and board paddling in a way that is appropriate to their age and abilities.
If successful, Starfish Nippers will use its funds to buy a beach wheelchair and other equipment.
Julian Pace, Happiness Co (Carousel)
Unconditional. Compassionate. Selfless. These are only a few words used to describe Julian who founded Happiness Co to tackle depression and loneliness through face-to-face and online programs. The social enterprise promotes happiness, kindness and community cohesion through online programs, live workshops and events.
If Julian is successful, Happiness Co will use its funds to support its school and youth self-esteem programs in WA.
Joanne Beedie, NICU Helping Little Hands Incorporated (Innaloo)
After her own traumatic three-month NICU experience, Joanne co-founded Helping Little Hands to support families at King Edward Memorial Hospital and Perth’s Children’s Hospital. She helps remove financial stress so that thousands of Perth families impacted by a premature birth can concentrate on bonding with their newborns.
If Joanne is successful, Helping Little Hands will be able to donate essential ‘big ticket’ items like car seats and prams to parents of premature babies so they can leave NICU when they are discharged.
Catherine Kolomyjec, Soul Gestures Inc. (Whitford City)
Hoping to inspire young people to perform acts of kindness and realise their potential, Catherine co-founded the charity Soul gestures. They rose to the challenge in 2020, delivering goods to raise the spirits of exhausted nurses and people in need, including to 420 crew members quarantined on a cruise ship.
If Catherine is successful, Soul Gestures will use its funds to make a film written and directed by talented young people with disabilities.
Scentre Group’s Westfield Local Heroes program is proud to have created an Alumni of more than 489 community organisations, investing a total of $4.88 million since the program’s inception in 2018.
Don’t forget to vote before it closes on Monday 30th of August. Successful recipients will be announced on the 12th of October 2021.