We got it! Top funding for our great project!
News Article from Wednesday 24th February 2016
Downs Group Training secure top spot locally with over half a million in Queensland Government funding awarded to fuel Skilling Queenslanders for Work project at Toowoomba Clubhouse.
The announcement will see $557,500 of Government funds awarded to Toowoomba Regional Group Apprenticeship Company trading as Downs Group Training as part of the Work Skills Traineeships programme under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative to start on the 1st of March 2016.
This is the highest amount of funding offered locally within the Toowoomba area and shows the significance and relevance of the work planned.
As a not for profit and charity registered organisation Downs Group Training are proud to facilitate and deliver the “Toowoomba Construction Skills” project in three separate stages over 12 months.
“We are elated to be involved with such a meaningful and worthwhile project. Whilst our company primarily focuses on delivering employment and training services it is thrilling to contribute to an organisation that benefits the wider community – which is very much our company ethos” says CEO Darren McDonell.
“This program is a wonderful opportunity to upskill local jobseekers with the view to quality employment outcomes while assisting a fellow local community organisation.”
The project will utilise a “hands-on” approach to assist a total of 30 students over 12 months in gaining a Certificate 1 in Construction qualification whilst also gaining practical experience upgrading the premises of Toowoomba Clubhouse Association in Russell Street.
Toowoomba Clubhouse has been operating for the past nineteen years, and has been instrumental in addressing a shortage of mental health services for all ages in the community.
Executive Director of Toowoomba Clubhouse Luke Terry was all smiles on announcement of the project funding approval, “We are incredibly grateful for the news. It is a fantastic opportunity to build our membership and as our employment and education programmes evolve this will really make a big difference. The project will help change the quality of many lives of people who are living with mental illness in Toowoomba.”
“It offers a perfect way to continue to build upon an already long-lasting and strong reciprocal relationship with Downs Group Training.”
Phase one of the project will entail the renovation of the current community kitchen including extension of the undercover timber deck. This is the hub of a vital function, as the Clubhouse provides more than 100 healthy meals each day; with members doing their own cooking wherever possible.
Phase two of the project will include extending a small meeting room into a large community meeting room for activities being offered at the Clubhouse.
Phase three will involve the expansion of two smaller rooms into a larger proposed “drop-in” or social gathering facility.
As the Clubhouse is a heritage listed building, students will also gain valuable training into working within Toowoomba’s heritage listing guidelines.
This initiative is directly in line with the company’s values and aims and there is an air of enthusiasm and energy amongst the Project team as they prepare for their first task – recruiting the first 15 committed local participants who share their enthusiasm to be better – together.