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Funding grants encourage communities to come together for continence

The issue of incontinence affects a large number of Australians, of all ages, but a second round of grant funding from the Continence Foundation of Australia is aiming to shine more of a light on the issue across the nation.

Round two of the Community Health Promotion Grants through the Continence Foundation of Australia are now open (Source: Shutterstock)
Round two of the Community Health Promotion Grants through the Continence Foundation of Australia are now open (Source: Shutterstock)

Run annually since 2015, the Community Health Promotion Grants of up to $2,000 per community group, aim to overcome the stigma of incontinence and urge the 1 in 4 Australians who live with bladder, bowel and pelvic health problems to ask for help.

Project Officer - Health Promotion for the Continence Foundation of Australia, Nives Zerafa, says the organisation hopes the grants will raise awareness in the community of all the help available to prevent, better manage or even cure incontinence.

“This is a valuable opportunity to fund health activities at the local level and enhance local networks.

“We’re encouraging members of community organisations to use the grants as a chance to trial innovative ideas while building their capacity in the community, which they may otherwise not be funded to do.”

Ms Zerafa says the applications for round one of the 2018-19 “exceeded expectations” with nine grants awarded to community groups. She says the organisation is hoping for “even more interest” in round two.

“We welcome groups that would like to utilise the grants to support older people, as older people are an at-risk group for bladder and bowel issues.

“It’s important to remember that although prevalence of incontinence increases with age, it’s not a normal part of ageing and can always be helped.”

She adds that there have been some “great initiatives” that have come about from the grants over recent times - with a number particularly focusing on supporting older people.

Some of the initiatives include:

  • Deaf Services Queensland producing four Auslan video clips on continence for a demographic not reached before by the Continence Foundation
  • Arthritis South Australia producing digital recordings of presentations by expert speakers
  • Council on the Ageing (COTA) Northern Territory collating and promoting updated information on toilet locations and facility details in the Northern Territory to improve the use of the National Public Toilet Map Project for seniors
  • Southern Cross Care providing education sessions in three regional locations in South Australia for older people living in the community.

Applications for the second round of grants are open from now until 5 November 2018, with all application programs needing to run before June 2019.

More information on the grants and application process is available online or by emailing grants@continence.org.au.

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