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Announcing our 2020 Community Grants recipients

With recent summer bushfires and the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we know that 2020 has, and continues to be, a tough year for many across our communities.

Recognising the challenges still ahead, Jemena is pleased to announce the launch our 2020 Community Grants Program; placing our support behind five incredible community organisations who are making a real difference for some of our communities most vulnerable through COVID-19 and beyond.

As part of our 2020 Community Grants Program we are pleased to award $20,000 grants to OzHarvest, Uniting Vic. Tas, Orange Sky Australia, and the St Vincent de Paul Society New South Wales and VincentCare Victoria to help provide free and nutritious meals, over-the-phone home energy advice, mobile laundry and shower services and family and domestic violence support for those in need across Victoria, New South Wales and where possible Queensland. 

First launched in 2019, our Grants Program forms part of Jemena’s Community Partnerships Program which reflects our ongoing commitment to support our customers and communities through the impacts of COVID-19.

Learn more about each of our Grants recipients below.


2020 Community Grants: Supporting our communities through COVID-19

Tackling food relief with OzHarvest

Each month across the country more than 800,000 people, a third of them children, need help accessing food. As Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, OzHarvest rescues 250 tonnes of surplus food each week and delivers it to over 1,300 charities that help feed people in need.

Ronni Kahn AO, OzHarvest Founder and CEO says “The impact of COVID-19 has seen food relief hit an all-time high, with so many men, women and children experiencing food insecurity for the first time ever in their lives. OzHarvest is committed to feeding as many people as possible and has expanded its services, beyond the usual food rescue operations to offer new emergency food relief.

“We know the importance of providing a nourishing meal. It’s more than just food. It means that families who are struggling will be able to take stronger steps to rebuild their lives during this pandemic.”

“With every $1 given allowing us to deliver two meals to someone going hungry, this donation will help provide up to 40,000 fresh, nutritious and much needed meals, plus a sense of hope and community, for those doing it tough.”


Offering important energy bill advice with Uniting

According to research from Jemena and Deloitte, over 1 in 3 customers surveyed have had to access extra support (such as payment plans or extensions) to help manage home energy bills recently. Through Uniting’s Energy and Financial Literacy program, their community services organisation provide free home energy advice, as well as other key service referrals, for those experiencing or at risk of financial hardship – all in their preferred language.

“Each year we see a number of people facing challenges with their energy bills, and this is only growing with impacts this pandemic has on people’s jobs, cost of living pressures and even energy use from spending more time at home,” said Matt Cairns, Program Manager.

“While we’ve partnered with Jemena for over two year’s now on a community energy literacy program, this donation allows us to support even more clients to better understand and manage their energy bills, access key supports like concessions and energy debt relief grants, and learn simple tips to save on energy bills while staying warm and well over winter.”

Jemena residential electricity (VIC) and gas (NSW) customers can book a free over-the-phone home energy appointment by calling Uniting on 1800 545 366 and mentioning the ‘Jemena Community Grants Program’.


Supporting women and children with the St Vincent de Paul Society New South Wales and VincentCare Victoria

For some people home is not always the safest place As a national community services organisation, Vinnies’s work hard to assist people in need across Australia, including some of those 1 in 3 women experiencing or 1 in 4 children witnessing domestic or family violence.

Both these organisations operate as part of the St Vincent de Paul Society, providing family violence programs. These include advocacy and support to women and children escaping family violence to support them to live safely and independently in the community.

“While crises such as the coronavirus affect everyone, a key concern for us is the heightened risk they bring to instances of violence at home due to increased financial, emotional and other stressors on many families and relationships,” said Quinn Pawson, CEO, VincentCare

“Through our network of women’s refuges and other crises services, we’re fortunate to be able to support many women and children bravely exiting these types of situations each year.”

“This donation will help us support clients taking the next steps from temporary into longer-term accommodation - providing much needed furnishings and other necessities to improve their comfort and build a brighter future,” said Brett Macklin, Director of Homelessness Services, SVDP NSW.

vinnies.org.au | vincentcare.org.au

Supporting people experiencing homelessness with Orange Sky Australia

According to the 2016 Census, around 1 in 200 Australians are experiencing homelessness. Orange Sky Australia provide a platform for people experiencing homelessness to connect through a free, regular laundry and shower service.

Through their network of volunteers and mobile vans, over the last 5 years Orange Sky has provided over 1.4 million kilograms of free laundry, 1,400 warm showers and, most importantly, 250,000 hours of genuine conversation for people experiencing homelessness.

“The COVID-19 outbreak means that Orange Sky is operating in a world where things are changing daily, but what remains the same is the commitment of our team to continue innovating and supporting our friends on the street”, said Co-founder Lucas Patchett.

“We’ve had to adapt how and where some of our shifts operate and we’re working hard to source new shift locations across Australia to support as many people as possible.”

“With around $24 helping us to provide one of our friends with a hot shower, clean clothes and a genuine conversation, this donation can help make a real difference for people doing it tough."


For more information, please contact community@jemena.com.au