For the past four years, HBCF has grown a strong partnership with Melbourne University through the Inclusion Project. Each year a team of students immerses itself in Hobsons Bay’s community sporting culture to grow opportunities for sports participants with special needs.

One of the flow on effects from is that HBCF sees inspiring grant applications from groups that are following the lead of the Inclusion Project. Notable grant recipients this year include Bloom, a program which aims to provide soccer skills for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and the Williamstown Cricket Club’s All Abilities team, which will be entered into next year’s structured cricket competition. Last year HBCF funded the Sporting Network of Autistic People and Parents (SNAPP) and CONGS Cricket Club Williamstown to run a program with 28 kids (23 of them Autistic). The Inclusion was so successful that parents of the 5 Neuro Typical children were not aware that the majority of kids were Autistic. This is testament to the power of a little funding having a big impact.

The ability to influence positive community outcomes through making a difference to the lives of people living locally is the what the Hobsons Bay Community Fund is all about – building the kind of future we want.” It now presents us with some serious parental thinking about next steps.

Regards Cr Sandra Wilson