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Community Impact Grants Program

A not-for-profit Sebastopol karate school now has a life-saving automated external defibrillator (AED) thanks to the City of Ballarat’s Community Impact Grants program.

Ballarat Kyokushin Karate head instructors Steve and Monica Hardy successfully applied for a Community Impact Grant of $2,495 to purchase a defibrillator for their karate school.

Their decision to apply for the grant came after they watched a paramedic use a defibrillator on a visiting karate student.

In November 2018, the 12-year-old karate student was completing his grading at Ballarat Kyokushin Karate when he experienced a cardiac event.

Shortly after the student’s father and other bystanders began CPR, two ambulances arrived and used a defibrillator to save the boy’s life. The boy was later diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and has since made a full recovery.

The condition, where there is an extra electrical pathway in the heart, is one of the most common causes of fast heart rate problems in infants and children.

Steve and Monica, who have spent 46 and 26 years respectively practising and teaching karate, say the defibrillator now provides them with confidence in the event a student or visitor experiences a cardiac incident.

The life-saving defibrillator now sits in a prominent position in the karate school, where it’s easily accessible to instructors, students and their families.

“If it happens again, we know we have the defibrillator there. We know the defibrillator is a life-saving back-up, in the event that CPR is not achieving a response from the patient,” Steve says.

City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh says it is imperative more people in the community know about the funding opportunities available through the City of Ballarat’s Community Impact Grants program.

“The Community Impact Grants program is a great opportunity for not-for-profit community groups to apply for funding for a range of projects, equipment upgrades,” she says.

“We’ve been able to supply groups with funding to purchase remote video conferencing equipment right through to providing training, purchasing uniforms and now providing access to an automated external defibrillator.

“We encourage not-for-profit community groups across the municipality to find out more about the Community Impact Grants program at www.ballarat.vic.gov.au.”

The City of Ballarat recently adopted changes to the 2019-2020 Community Impact Grant program, making it easier for community organisations to apply for funding. Under the changes, applicants will be able to complete a new streamlined application form for requests of under $2,000, excluding GST.

Round 1 of the 2019-2020 program closes on 2 September, 2019.