COMMUNITY groups, schools, young entrepren-eurs and small businesses have the chance to win $10,000 as part of this year’s Champions of the West grants.

Drug and alcohol education organisation Youth Solutions was the winner of the indigenous excellence category last year and received $10,000.

Communications co-ordinator Amanda Dillon said the funds benefited both the organisation and the community because they went towards the Artucation Project. “The project focuses on young indigenous people and fuses drug and alcohol education with creative expression,” she said. “The grant really helped raise the profile of the project and helped us purchase paint, supplies and resources.”

The organisation was also able to extend the program. “We’re thankful to all those involved because it helped us better support young people,” Ms Dillon said.

“The awards acknowledge the importance of community development work and we encourage other community organisations to apply. It’s a win because you get both funding and awareness for your cause.”

In 2014, the team at Wizard of Oz Funland received $10,000 to create the Celebrate Campbelltown historical DVD.

Director Brian Laul said the grant was just what the group needed to kick start the project. “To find funding to get a good idea off the ground is hard.” he said. “The grant helped speed up the process and give the idea life: it found its wings after that. I’d encourage anyone to apply.”

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