Successful Team Up peer network grants announced!

A wave of excitement rippled across NSW this month as the successful Team Up peer Network grant applicants received some good very news. An impressive collection of peer group projects received grants of between $1000 and $10,000 to spend on setting up, growing, or linking peer groups with communities.

Peer support in action

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Watch seven videos showing peer support in action.

Jeongmin Park, of the Korean Cockatoos Disability & Carers Association Inc, was squawking with delight.

“I’m so happy. I share the news with group. We are waiting, waiting, waiting and finally we get good news,” Jeongmin said.

The Cockatoos are a peer-led organisation that provides peer support for Korean families of children with disability.

They will use the funding to run peer group training, small peer group meetings, and a larger workshop that will be open to the wider community.

Jeongmin explained that the group chose their name because the cockatoo is a “beautiful bird that makes a lot of noise”.

“The peer movement is very important because we can get together to share information about our lives. We will build our capacity to deliver workshops, and deliver a big open workshop to the community,” Jeongmin said.

Sarah Manley, from successful grant applicants All About Us, said her group was “super excited”.

“This is just the best news ever,” she said.

All About Us plans to build their skills in conducting accessibility audits, and audit local businesses to improve access, promote awareness and build foundations for an inclusive community.

Sarah explained that group members had enjoyed the experience of doing focus group and auditing work for the Wagga City Council, and they saw the Team Up grants as an opportunity to take this work further.

“When we do approach businesses we will have people with disability leading the conversations, and steering the project as well,” Sarah said.

“It’s really important for equality and awareness, so people with disability have the same access to things in the community that everyone else does”.

The group has its sights set on retail businesses in the short term, but would like to audit public places like libraries and schools, and bigger institutions like TAFE colleges and universities in the future.

Another great peer group project plans to create a Micro Enterprise Hub in the Penrith area where people of all abilities can share experiences and resources with the aim of creating their own micro enterprise.

The successful groups are spread across the state, with over half the projects located outside of Sydney.

Chair of the Grant Assessment Committee George Argyrous said selectors had been impressed by the range of projects submitted.

“We also had a really diverse range of groups apply, both in terms of backgrounds and geography,” George said. “There was a real willingness among people in established groups to engage with their own capability development, people who wanted to start a peer group from scratch, and others who wanted to link their group with the community.”

“Reading the applications you really got a sense of how isolating having a disability can be, and how important peer groups can be to overcoming that isolation.”



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