Early Links Supporting Inclusion

Celebrating our successful grants

Craft Club
Grants Writer Jordana Morrison

By Jordana Morrison

Grants Writer


Early Links has predominantly been funded through the NDIS since its introduction in 2013. While this has enabled us to provide vital services in the community, we have intentionally sought to increase funding from other sources to further scale up the programs and support we deliver to children, young people, adults, and their families.

We have been fortunate to receive funding from many generous organisations that have enabled us to deliver the following programs over the last few months.

Craft/Art Group

Thanks to APA Group‘s generous funding through the Kurri Kurri Lateral Pipeline Community Grants Program, we were able to deliver a Craft/Art Group program in the July 2022 and January 2023 school holidays.

Led by our talented Art Therapist, Amy, this group involved collaborative art and craft-making to develop social skills, self-esteem, and wellbeing. It utilised process-driven craft and art-making methods aimed to foster positive social connection through verbal and non-verbal communication and expression. The program also targeted the development of fine motor and gross motor skills and emotional regulation.

The feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive, with most participants saying they had learnt something new and felt like a part of the group. All participants said they would come back again. Well done Amy, and thank you, APA Group!

Wellbeing Warriors

Thanks to Hunter Valley Operation’s generous funding through their 2022 Community Grants Program, we ran the Wellbeing Warriors group program in the January 2023 school holidays. The Wellbeing Warriors program aimed to create a safe space for young people aged 8-14 years old, in the Muswellbrook community to explore their own emotional and social wellbeing. 

This group focused on helping participants build and develop social/life skills and taught them emotional regulation and mindfulness skills.

Social worker with client

Wellbeing Warriors

Social skills were a significant focus of the group, with open discussions around determining individual and social values, social safety, setting healthy boundaries, and the importance of wellbeing. The program strongly focused on the participants’ emotional wellbeing and provided tools and strategies that could foster this.

The group also participated in mindfulness activities such as craft, cooking, and breathing activities. Through art and craft activities, participants were invited to express themselves. Through mindful cooking and eating activities, participants were able to be supported to independently cook food and practice mindful eating.

Throughout these activities, ‘working together respectfully’ became the program’s additional outcome and focus. Well done Matt, and thank you HVO!

Block Builders

We have purchased additional equipment for our ongoing Block Builders group program thanks to Cessnock City Council‘s generous funding through the Community Dollar for Dollar Grant Scheme.

Block Builders is an evidence-based group therapy program that aims to provide natural opportunities to develop play, fine motor, self-regulation, and social skills, including social communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills.

This additional equipment, including lots of new LEGO®, allows us to provide more variety, and include more participants in the program. Thank you Cessnock City Council!

Block Builders

Block Builders

Future grants

We are continuing to apply for grant funding for a wide variety of programs and projects to further expand the services we can deliver and to continue to provide quality programs and services. We look forward to updating you on future success!

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