COMMUNITY groups received grants to assist their programs for children and education earlier this week.
The financial donations were awarded on Tuesday night at The Exchange by local engineering firm McKern Steel.
McKern Steel executive assistant Kylie Kaye said the firm believed in giving back to the community.
“Our Committee meets to discuss all the applications which have been put forward, and we come to a consensus around an even distribution of funds between youth, community, sport and social activities,” she said.
The largest grant of $5000 was awarded to youth housing and education organisation Kids Under Cover.
Grants also went to Loddon Mallee Preschool Association, Doncare, Interchange Loddon-Malle Region Inc, Huntly Primary School, Eaglehawk Scout Group, Ardoch Youth Foundation and Epsom Playgroup.
Epsom Playgroup received a grant of $3000.
Playgroup coordinator Rebecca Calvert said her group needed the money to settle into a new location.
"Our playgroup has recently gone through some major changes," she said.
The playgroup had met for 31 years at the Epsom Maternal Health Centre but was recently asked to move because the centre needed more space for its own services.
The playgroup moved to Epsom Recreational Reserve but had to buy new play equipment.
"We had to start from scratch," Ms Calvert said.
She said the money would be used for indoor play equipment because the new location did not have an outdoor play space.
The playgroup keeps its service costs low, charging only $2 per family per session so anyone can attend.
Ms Calvert said the grant money would help with resources to cater for the growing number of families.
"Memberships have doubled this year."
Ms Calvert said McKern Steel showed "great community mindedness".