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Hot Spots Initiative

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Across Greater Melbourne communities are becoming more resilient thanks to Hot Spots, a new initiative launched by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

With the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, Hot Spots provides funding to health and community organisations to proactively support their communities.

Using the Monash Heat Vulnerability Index, the Foundation identified key areas in Melbourne with higher temperatures during heatwaves along with higher levels of socio-economic disadvantage, and invited applications for funding from not-for-profit organisations already working in health and community service sectors.

The Foundation’s Senior Program Manager for Healthy & Resilient Communities Harriet McCallum said that Hot Spots supports collaborations between community health, social service organisations, local government and emergency services in areas requiring more intensive community care during extreme heat.

“We provided funding to enliven in Greater Dandenong and IPC Health in Brimbank. Both organisations have brought together a diverse range of project partners to develop local responses to the health impacts of heatwave. We recognised that these impacts are disproportionately felt by those experiencing disadvantage.

Hot Spots partners gathered together to discuss recent results from their community resilience projects.

“Our funding provides the backbone support required to enable these community networks to grow and to test their programs.”

In Dandenong, enliven’s project is a collaboration between City of Greater Dandenong, Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre and Bolton Clarke (formerly Royal District Nursing Service). The health promotion activities focused on community members who are vulnerable on days of extreme heat including newly arrived migrants, older people and parents with babies and young children.

IPC Health also focused on younger and older residents, especially those residents with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds who may not understand health messages in English, to increase heat health literacy and prevent the health impacts caused by extreme heat.

Brimbank City Council’s Environment and Sustainability team has also conducted a heat-mapping project, measuring surface heat temperature. This mapping has identified the areas in St Albans and Sunshine West that need investment for the development of blue (water) and green (trees and vegetation) infrastructure to help cool these areas.

“Hot Spots is an ongoing initiative as part of Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation Healthy & Resilient Communities and will be scaled-up throughout 2019 and 2020.” – Harriet McCallum