17 September 2018
This week, Westpac Foundation awarded $2 million in Community Grants to 200 not-for-profit organisations making a difference in their local communities. Through the projects funded, it is estimated that the grants will touch the lives of approximately 30,000 Australians around the country.
2018 Westpac Foundation Community Grant recipient, batyr Australia, is a preventative mental health organisation working to ‘smash the stigma’ surrounding mental health and empower young people to reach out for support.
Head of Partnerships for batyr, Jono Peatfield said, “This is the second year in a row we’ve received a community grant from Westpac Foundation. We’re thrilled as the grant will fund workshops to train and empower more young speakers to share their mental health story with other young people who may be going through something similar.”
“This model of sharing stories amongst peers has proven impact – 74% of students who participated last year said they felt more likely to seek help if they needed it as a result of the program, and 92% felt it was important to share and hear real stories about mental health from other young people. With the help of the Westpac Foundation Community Grant, each new batyr speaker we train has the potential to reach over 1,000 additional young people,” continued Mr Peatfield.
Westpac Foundation CEO, Susan Bannigan said, “What I think makes the Westpac Foundation program so special is that as well as funding projects, we also match every grant recipient with a passionate Westpac employee to act as an ambassador, with the potential to form a much closer and deeper relationship. By acting as an ambassador, Westpac employees are able to provide personalised support and share their skills, resources and networks with the organisation to help in ways beyond the monetary grant.”
A great example of this is Nick Lillywhite in the Westpac Group Technology team. “Nick has been a valuable volunteer for batyr for many years and has encouraged many of his colleagues to volunteer their time and skills with us as well. This ability to tap into and connect with more passionate supporters for our cause is tremendously valuable to us,” continued Mr Peatfield.
Since 2012, Westpac Foundation Community Grants have provided $7.6 million to 779 community organisations nationally. Like batyr, almost half of the 200 organisations awarded this year are organisations we have funded previously, helping to build a deeper and more impactful relationship. batyr was also recently named as one of Westpac’s 200 Businesses of Tomorrow.
For more information on the Westpac Foundation 200 Community Grants program and this year’s recipients, please visit www.westpac.com.au/grants.