Latest News

Boosting Community Connection and Wellbeing

Stuart Ayres MP, Member for Penrith today announced that Noro Music Therapy and The Haven Women’s Shelter will receive grants through the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Community Connection and Wellbeing Program to deliver community wellbeing initiatives.

Stuart Ayres said Noro Music Therapy will receive $10,000 towards their Guitars for Veteran’s project while The Haven will receive $72,697 for their Soaring Strengths Mentoring Program.

“Through events and activities that bring people together, we can kickstart and revive a better sense of connection and social wellbeing in Penrith which took such a hit during COVID-19,” Stuart Ayres said.

“The Guitars for Veterans project is a fantastic way to support our veterans and Noro are well placed to deliver this program.”

Belinda Leonard, CEO of Noro said “This program will help veterans to manage stress and well-being while gaining a new skill in an engaging environment.”

Guitars for Veterans will provide a social platform to improve and promote individual well-being through the use of learning guitar and collaborating. The group ‘jam sessions’ will a positive space and environment for participants to engage and interact through music, to show off their knowledge and learn and collaborate with each other.

Soaring Strengths Mentoring Program is a partnership between The Haven – Nepean Women’s Shelter, local community partners and small businesses to support women who have experienced domestic violence, family violence and homelessness, leaving the shelter, to obtain career mentoring, access to education and employment opportunities and pathways.

“I’m confident both of these projects will support our community by facilitating a sense of belonging, which research shows is strongly linked to improved mental health outcomes,”said Stuart Ayres.

Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said research conducted by the NSW Mental Health Commissioner found that 4 out of 10 residents have experienced negative impacts to their life following the pandemic.

“The past few years have been incredibly isolating for many people across our state, and by creating more opportunities for connectedness across NSW communities will play an important role in mitigating this,” Mrs Taylor said.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the events and initiatives to be funded through the program range from multicultural courses to youth events.

“Not only will each event and initiative help communities to heal and recover from the ripple effects of COVID-19, but they can also help us build back stronger and more resilient to any future pandemics or disasters,” Ms Cooke said.

For more information visit:


More News

Stuart Ayres - Member for Penrith

Subscribe to
My Newsletter

Follow Stuart

Follow Stuart