Coming together through Groups in times of need

Alisha Elliott, Head of Policy Programs - Australia & New Zealand – March 12, 2021

From bushfires to pandemics, Australians are using Facebook Groups to come together and find connection, belonging and get through when times are tough. Whether it’s for emotional support and to offer help, or to connect around unique interests or hobbies, Groups have provided a gateway for people to connect with their communities, at a time when they need it most.

A recent survey found that Facebook Groups play a role in disaster response with 91% of Australian respondents saying they have given some form of support to others during the COVID-19 pandemic through their preferred Facebook Group; whether it was helping local vulnerable residents with their groceries during lockdown, sharing vital information from health authorities, or providing financial support to local business.

To help support Australian communities through the challenges of 2020, we created the Facebook Australia Groups Fund, a $500,000 fund designed to support Groups who are leading grassroots community relief or recovery efforts and building resilience in communities who have been affected by crisis. We’re proud to announce the final grant recipients, a series of stories of the unsung local heroes, making a meaningful difference in their communities through Facebook Groups.

One of the communities we supported through the fund is the Love the Bay BB Facebook Group. The Group was initially created as a community pride campaign to support the local small business community. However, in the midst of the bushfire crisis on the NSW South Coast, it soon became clear the role of the Group was more important than ever. The Group prioritises showcasing the local small business community and giving them a platform on which they can promote their unique businesses both to their town, and across Australia.

You can read the full list of the Facebook Australia 2020 Groups Fund recipients here.

 

 

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