Yet again Awesome Newcastle has gone digital, navigating these uncertain times with alacrity and authenticity! Three fantastic finalists sent us three different video pitches this month. We emailed them to our board, a few of us zoomed, the money was transferred through various accounts and at last a difficult decision was reached.
We welcomed three great guest board members remotely last night, Amber Moncrieff from Hunter Plastic Surgery, Ethan Andrews of Central Coast City Council and first-time guest board member Heath Raftery of NewieVentures.
Each board member experienced Awesome Newcastle uniquely from their own homes. Some watched the finalists immediately with their families and pets, others tuned in later on, but everyone gave money, donated, voted and made a difference.
Our May finalists all had a passion for creativity. See for yourself in their videos below.
Local artist Mel O’dell
Local artist Mel O’dell told us about her idea to create free booklets for people from Newcastle to enjoy, giving people activities to do to keep busy, motivated and happy during isolation.
Activities would include simple recipes, craft and drama activities, colouring in pages and exercises.
She’d use the money to make the of the booklet, print it and distribute it.
Next up was Kala Chand of Newcastle Positive Pebbles
Kala hand paints and donate positive pebbles to mental health facilities in Newcastle. With a team of psychologists, she developed a list of positive affirmations that she paints on rocks and donate them twice a month to the Centre for Psychotherapy, Headspace Newcastle and Hunter Primary Care.
She’s now donated over 1,000 positive pebbles to these facilities, and gets great feedback. Her pebbles help mental health clients make positive choices in recovery and resist self destructive behaviours.
Next up was business owner Katrina Bradley from Come What May
Katrina told us about Come What May, her gift shop full of local handmade goods, located on a winery in Polkobin.
Due to Covid-19, her business has had to close, so her care packages are her only income right now. She’s supporting local suppliers while also supporting herself and providing joy for people in the community.
She was hoping to use the money to pay for packaging and advertising. All of the causes are lovely and worthy, so it was clearly going to be a tough decision. But votes were cast and calls were made, and this morning our host Alex called Kala to tell her she won May’s Awesome Newcastle with her Positive Pebbles Project. Congratulations to her and those influenced by her affirmations.
Thanks to all our great finalists and all the different people involved in Awesome Newcastle. We can’t do it without you! And if you haven’t already, please apply if you have an awesome idea; we are still going strong and giving away money. And, applications never expire, so we might get a finalist back again for another Awesome Newcastle in the future.
We’re also always on the hunt for a few guest board members. While we’re in isolation, it’s extra easy to participate: check your emails, transfer money and vote! Just ask last night’s guest board member Ethan Andrews.