*This report was compiled as part of Connect Cromwell’s Public-Interest Journalism project.
Sport, the arts, health, conservation, neighbourliness…anything will be considered for Connect Cromwell’s new “Winning Ideas” competition. The group are keen to support community-focused ideas that need a bit of funding to help them along, through a competition that will culminate in a fun event in August.
Groups and individuals around the Cromwell Basin are being invited to pitch ideas on anything from pest control to performing arts for a share of the $20,000 prize pool, Community Facilitator Tania Partridge said.
“We work with lots of groups and encourage ideas but really wanted to throw it wide open, get people thinking and give them the means to make it happen. These are tough economic times and small kindnesses are really important to help keep our community connected. It might relate to sports, the arts, a neighbourhood gathering, building something…anything that’s good for the hood.”
There were a few rules about who could enter and as long as the project was not commercial it would be considered, Tania said.
“We’d love to see children and young people getting involved as well as young families, workers and our senior citizens…anybody and everybody is welcome.”
Fellow facilitator Georgie Affleck said applications for “Winning Ideas” would be open until July 23 then the top ten groups or individuals would pitch their plan at a fun community event in August.
Some of the projects Connect Cromwell were currently involved in included creating public seating around Cromwell, community gardens, family events, a dog park and public-interest journalism.
The group, a Community-Led Development non-profit organisation, is funded through the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and the competition was a way of kickstarting initiatives that benefitted the community.
Run by a volunteer steering committee, Connect Cromwell secured funding from the DIA in 2019 for a five-year programme aimed at helping communities become more resilient and connected. Georgie says interested parties should email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form. Help and advice was available if needed.