FRIENDLY FUNDS: Community group representatives and Tweed Shire Council officers celebrate the handing over of more than $36,000.
FRIENDLY FUNDS: Community group representatives and Tweed Shire Council officers celebrate the handing over of more than $36,000.

Local groups reap rewards of big-time success

TWO Tweed service groups with very humble local beginnings have gone on to become national and even international success stories.

Story Dogs and the Tweed/Byron Life Education Action Group, both launched in the Tweed and now thriving throughout Australia and beyond, were among 13 community organisations presented with funds amounting to $36,908 during Tweed Shire Council's community sponsorship policy morning tea.

Tweed/Byron Life Education Action Group spokesman Greg Pile said the service began with a small van, travelling from school to school to educate primary students about nutrition and drugs.

"The program is now worldwide, teaching children to make healthy and safe decisions about their lives," he said.

Similarly, Story Dogs was launched in Murwillumbah in 2009 to help children with reading difficulties, with dog owners volunteering their time and their pets to provide a non-judgmental audience for children to read aloud.

Sponsor manager Agnes Nesci said the program now assisted more than 1000 children in every state of Australia.

She said demand for Story Dogs also continued to grow in the Tweed and the grant would help buy more picture books for volunteer teams.

The recipients also included the Pottsville-based Beachside Communicare, a small church-based group which offers poverty relief by providing a food pantry to about 60 low-income families.

Funds also went to:

  • TUA Spinners and Weavers Group
  • Murwillumbah Community Men's Shed
  • Twin Towns Stamp Club
  • Tweed Patchworkers
  • Uki and South Arm Historical Society
  • Creative Caldera
  • Tweed/Byron Trail Horse Riders Club
  • Tweed Landcare
  • Safer Communities Alliance
  • Murwillumbah Rotary

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