When used alongside other sun protection measures like sunscreen and protective clothing, shade structures are the best defence against dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays. Applications for the latest round of Community Shade Grants and School Shade Grants are now open.
The Community Shade Grants Program and the School Shade Grants Program provide funding to Victorian government schools and community organisations to increase shade in outdoor spaces, by building new shade, repairing existing shade or planting trees. Small grants are also available to purchase sun protective items, including hats and sunscreen to Victorian government schools and community organisations to increase shade in outdoor spaces, by building new shade, repairing existing shade or planting trees.
Over 900 submissions were made in round four of the program last year. Applications were assessed on quality of the proposed project, need in the community and impact. The round was extremely competitive, and the high number of applications meant that only one in four could be funded.
In 2019, 77 schools and 164 community organisations were successful in their applications for a grant, including Mount Erin College in Frankston South that received funding to build new permanent shade outside their canteen area (see image above).
Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with two in three people diagnosed by the aged of 70. In 2018, melanoma was the fifth most common cancer in Victoria, with 3096 new cases diagnosed and sadly 291 deaths. This is why providing better protection for people of all ages from the sun’s damaging rays is so important.
Now in its fifth year, these Victorian government grants have already provided over $12 million of funding to help around 1000 extra schools and community groups install much needed shade in school grounds, community spaces and sporting clubs.
To find out more information on how to apply for a grant visit the website. School and Community Shade Grant applications close on 11 September.