Murrumbidgee Pitch Night finalists announced

Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN) is pleased to announce its three inaugural Pitch Night finalists as Live Life Get Active, Balance Up Nutrition, and Western Riverina Community College. Each finalist is expected to receive around $25,000 in one-off grant funding.

Our Pitch Night finalists: Daniel Thomson from Balance Up Nutrition, Alex King from Live Life Get Active, and Natalie O’Leary and Sharon De Valentin from Western Riverina Community College.

Our Pitch Night finalists: Daniel Thomson from Balance Up Nutrition, Alex King from Live Life Get Active, and Natalie O’Leary and Sharon De Valentin from Western Riverina Community College.

On the night, each finalist will provide a 10-minute pitch of their idea for addressing community health needs around supporting physical health and mental wellbeing, to a group of more than 100 people. After all pitches are heard, the audience will assist MPHN determine the funding each finalist receives.

MPHN CEO Melissa Neal said the inaugural Pitch Night will be held in Griffith on Thursday 2 May and each finalist has developed programs to address health needs of young people, older people and people with chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity.

“First we have Live Life Get Active with a proposal to build supportive communities in Young and Griffith for people to participate in 10-week exercise and nutrition programs to address health concerns of obesity, diabetes and foster positive mental wellbeing,” Ms Neal said,

“The second finalist is Balance Up Nutrition to deliver a program called ‘Giz a Break’ to support young people aged between 14 and 16 years from farming families to participate in overnight camping excursions to Kosciusko National Park with the aim at developing positive coping strategies through participating in camp set-up and pack-down, cooking, hiking and fishing.

“Our last finalist is the Western Riverina Community College who want to develop a five-week program for older people living our western communities of Leeton, Narrandera, Griffith, Hay, Hillston and Lake Cargelligo, to help support their physical and mental health through exercise and nutrition programs.

“On the night, representatives from the region’s Local Health Advisory Committees, health organisations, and local community groups will be part of the audience to hear these stories and how the programs will work.

“Each audience members will be given a funding card and will be able to pledge set amounts to any of the finalist projects with totals tallied at the end of the night.

“Our aim is to provide one-off grant funding for organisations to establish innovative projects that not only meet the needs of the community, but could act as a catalyst for implementation in other communities across the region,” she said.

Pitch Night participation is by invitation to local organisations and community groups in and around Griffith with a vested interest in improving the health needs of the wider Murrumbidgee community.

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Live Life Get Active
Life Life Get Active provides tailored health and wellness activities specifically to address obesity, diabetes and poor mental health, while at the same time helping reduce social disconnection. The proposition is simple - get people up, moving and having fun in a local park. Targeting the communities of Young and Griffith, Live Life Get Active will provide activities to support physical health and mental wellbeing over a 40-week period of four, 10-week terms. Various sessions will be run each weekday and can include cross training, boxing and yoga, and anyone, regardless of their ability, over the age of 18 years can participate. Each participant will also receive a tailored nutrition plan, reports detailing their achievements and a fully qualified trainer for each session.

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Giz a break by Balance Up Nutrition
Balance Up Nutition operates in the border region of the Murrumbidgee region and focuses on delivering healthy lifestyle services. To help support young people aged between 14 and 16 years who are from farming families, Balance Up Nutrition has developed an outdoor experience program in Kosciusko National Park called 'Giz a break'. Participants will camp, cook, hike and fish over four, two-night programs. The excursions are designed to help the young participants develop positive coping strategies and socially engage with peers in similar situations. The program will be designed, led, equipped and catered for by a consortium team of community volunteers including community groups like Rotary and Lions Clubs, 4WDing clubs, sporting clubs and secondary schools.

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Western Riverina Community College
Based in Leeton, the Western Riverina Community College provides a range of accredited, vocational courses to help people improve their workplace skills and broaden their opportunities for employment in their chosen career. But life shouldn't be all work and no play, so they also offer courses purely for enjoyment and fun like creative arts, cuisine classes, wine appreciation, astronomy and foreign languages. To that end, Western Riverina Community College is looking to develop a five-week program for seniors living in the communities in and surrounding Griffith, Leeton, Narrandera, Hay, Hillston and Lake Cargelligo. Sessions will have participants involved in exercise and healthy food preparation to help support their physical and mental health.

Monica McInnes