The Hands Across Canberra luncheon held on Friday 26 October saw The Snow Foundation, in conjunction with Hands Across Canberra, launch their report Vital Signs Canberra 2018.
The report is a snapshot of Canberra, focusing on the themes of health, education and employment, housing and belonging. Vital Signs is a research-led initiative that aims to raise awareness of the strengths and challenges within the community to help decide where attention and resources should be focused.
The report identifies the areas of obesity and mental health; education equity and underemployment; housing affordability, rental stress and homelessness, especially among older women, youth and children; and low numbers of migrants and refugees arriving in Canberra as areas that need to be improved.
Both Hands Across Canberra and the Snow Foundation provide grants to community organisations that are responding directly to the current needs within the ACT.
The sold-out luncheon also saw the announcement of the next Master Builders ACT charity house, which will be built in partnership with Master Builders ACT and Village Building Co.
Master Builders ACT CEO, Michael Hopkins, said there will soon be a call-out for subcontractors looking to donate any materials or labour to the project.
“Projects like this just go to show the generosity of the Canberra community … mostly from small and family businesses,” he said.
Village Building Co. CEO Travis Doherty said the charity house would be a townhouse located in Village Building Co.’s Weston precinct, on the old AFP training site.
“It’s a beautiful, well-established and leafy suburb,” he said.
“It’s our 30th year in business and we wanted to do something to give back … we are Canberra born and bred and proud to be the first fully private sector-funded sponsor of the next charity house.”
Sale proceeds will go to Hands Across Canberra to distribute to various charities and community groups through their project support grants.
Hands Across Canberra CEO Peter Gordon said the partnership has been in concept for some time now, and hopes “this next charity house will be the start of a yearly partnership”.
Master Builders ACT has previously completed three charity houses, raising close to $3 million for Canberra charities. The most recent charity houses in Deakin raised over $2 million for local charities in 2016.