Groups urged to apply for CALD seniors grants

16 May 2018 Benalla Ensign, Benalla VIC (General News) Organisations that support senior Victorians in Benalla are being encouraged to apply for the 2018 Participation for Culturally And Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Seniors grants program, which are now open. The grants available are worth $300 000, with organisations eligible for funding of up to $10 000 for projects that specifically encourage culturally diverse seniors to connect with their communities. State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said seniors from CALD backgrounds were often refugees or migrants who were at higher risk of social isolation because of barriers, such as language, limited mobility, poor health, lack of confidence and lack of knowledge of available supports and activities. I encourage the relevant groups and organisations in Northern Victoria, to take part so we can continue the great work of previous grant recipients in helping isolated CALD seniors participate more fully in our community life, Ms Symes said. Since 2011, the program has funded more than 300 projects, helping thousands of culturally-diverse seniors to connect with their community, taking part in activities, such as group outings, English classes, fitness classes, and cultural celebrations with traditional dance and music. The projects have also focused on improving communication links for older people at risk of isolation, teaching them how to use Facebook and setting up social media groups. The funded organisations will be supported by the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria to get their projects up and running. Applications close June 1 and grant recipients will be announced in August. To apply, visit