Meet Our Seedling Fund Winners For 2017!

aurora community grant winners

The Sprout Hub Aurora community café has just announced the first ever recipients of the Seedling Fund. In conjunction with Lendlease, Sprout Hub Aurora used some of the proceeds from its café sales this year to pay it forward to some local community groups as voted by you.

Over $7000 was donated to the lucky winners based on votes sent in by you, the Aurora community. This year’s winners were Epping North Scouts (who received over $3000) and Wollert Fire Brigade (who received over $2800).  

The Seedling Fund is a community initiative that sees 10% of the revenues received at Sprout Hub community café are redistributed back to community non profit groups. This encourages participation and support amongst neighbours and helps establish several different avenues by which community members can interact and work together. The winners are decided based on the votes of the general public and Aurora community.

“Epping North Scouts are thrilled to receive the donation,” says Group Leader Cara Horner.  “We are really looking forward to the purchase of the bare essentials camping equipment we need to use at upcoming major camps such as the 2019 Jamboree for Scouts aged 11 to 15 years old. [The equipment includes a range of cooking equipment, solar lighting gear and eating shelter equipment (tarps, poles).]  I personally feel relieved that we are going to be able to purchase this equipment for our youth members to use in good time in the lead up to the Jamboree so they are familiar with it. Without this equipment, the major events would be very difficult to attend. The grant also means that there is less fundraising to do, meaning less pressure on leaders. It also means we can also keep our fees as low as possible for our community members.”

Wollert Fire Brigade were also “extremely honoured to be receiving the grant and appreciate the support from the community,” says Firefighter and Community Safety Coordinator Emily Bonacci. “Community safety is a relatively new role within the CFA (Country Fire Authority). We are using the grant funds to purchase items to build community safety and fire awareness programs throughout the year. As a volunteer brigade, we rely a lot on the generosity of the local community and businesses. We also prefer the prevention of fire occurring them having to respond to fire. Without the grant our ability to hold community safety education events to support our rapidly growing urban community would be greatly reduced.”

Why do the winners think they were chosen? “Epping North Scouts is a very easy group to identify with. Community members recognise that scouting teaches youth life skills and leadership through an adventurous, challenging and fun program. [We also] play a constructive role in society through active community service,” says Cara.

Emily agrees that the same principles apply to why Wollert Fire Brigade is a valued part of the greater Aurora community. “The community benefits by having the opportunity to learn how to stay fire safe. And the Wollert Fire Brigade answers their calls for help in their time of need.”


Bonus Finalist

Lendlease, the property developers of the Aurora community, also chose to contribute an additional $1000 donation specifically to the Epping chapter of Boomerang Bags. This grassroots organisation sees volunteers from the community come together to fight the war on waste by creating reusable shopping bags from recycled materials.

“Boomerang Bags gives people the opportunity to meet with like minded people and help divert textile waste from our ever growing landfills,” says Marjorie Garcia, a volunteer from Boomerang Bags Epping. “It was great to have the encouragement from Sprout Hub to apply for the Seedling Fund – [this will] help get Boomerang Bags Epping more established. We will use it to buy a sewing machine and overlocker, screenprinting equipment for the logo, refreshments for our wonderful volunteers and to help facilitate a movie screening of the documentary Bag It. The grant will also help fund venues for our future sewing bees. This all would have been a slower process had it not been for the Seedling Fund.”


Come meet the winners of the Seedling Fund 2017 on Sunday November 12 at Sprout Hub Aurora from 11am to 2pm. This is a FREE family event with activities, sausage sizzle and lots more!