BOOSTING community morale is what Jody Ekert and the team behind Tamworth True hope to do with a hefty $10,000 grant.
The humble Facebook group was awarded the grant through the Facebook Australia Groups Fund, which aims to provide funds for events to bring a bit of light back into towns during the pandemic.
Ms Ekert was very surprised when she received the email to say her application for $10k was successful, so much so that she thought it was a scam.
"It was the last round of grants that we finally thought 'we're ideal for them because we set up Tamworth True to be a pandemic support group'," she said.
"I sent it off and didn't hear anything for a long time and I thought 'oh well it was a long shot' then we found out we got it."
She founded the group about 10 months ago, at the start of the nationwide lockdown, "as a logistics group when panic-buying started".
It rapidly expanded to become a "community pandemic hub", and now has about 1700 members.
The local woman and her admin team have met to discuss what they may plan for locals to use the funds, and there's been plenty of ideas.
"We've had a meeting and gone through the grant application we gave to Facebook and discussed 'how are we actually going to implement this now, and what's happening with COVID'," Ms Ekert said.
"I think we're aiming for an event in March, but there is that thing with COVID where it's hard to plan too far in advance.
"We thought March would have enough planning time and interest but it's not too far away that we're trying to predict what will happen with COVID."
The grant needs to be used "to increase connection in a community", and to "support creative folk and artists and that type of industry as well", so the event is set to encompass both of these aspects.
"We're starting to talk to venues and performers now to see what's possible," Ms Ekert said.
Whatever it will shape into, Ms Ekert is aiming to have more locals join the group so the effects of the grant can be further reaching.
"Our next step for us is to get as many people to join the group as possible, because now that we're funded, we can be a bigger group," she told the Leader.
"We can see how many would come along to an event we ran and if there's enough interested over one weekend, we'll get all of that up, otherwise we'll organise some things over the course of the year."
Locals can join the group by searching 'Tamworth True' on Facebook.