Volunteer groups across the Lower South West are set to receive funding boosts before the end of the year. Ten groups from the region will be given grants ranging from $2500 to $5000 from the Federal Government’s 2021 Volunteer Grants Round for things such as new equipment, tools and training for volunteers. One of the recipients was the organisers of the Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival, who received $4000 for first aid kits and training and two gazebos for the festival, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary this weekend. This comes following a $35,000 Building Better Regions grant in October for the festival to help organisers develop a three-year strategic plan. The 2021 round included grants such as $4815 for Blackwood Youth Action to introduce point-of-sale systems and buy a computer, $5000 to Pemberton Arts Group to buy a laptop computer, external hard drive, A3 printer and a smart-screen TV, and $3800 to the Manjimup Speedway Club for fuel, travel and accommodation costs, as well as for 10 volunteers to complete their level one speedway accreditation. The other groups receiving grants were the Bridgetown Agricultural Society, Henri Nouwen House, Manjimup Lions Club, Pemberton Cycling Association, Quinninup Community Association and the Walpole Community Resource Centre. O’Connor MHR Rick Wilson said the amount of groups receiving funding in the Lower South West this year showed how strong the region’s volunteer sector was. “The Lower South West is lucky to have so many volunteers that work extremely hard,” he said.