The Eltham Rural Group Inc was formed in 1955 by a group of friends in the Eltham area to raise funds for the building of University House at Melbourne University. At the completion of the appeal, the group decided to continue their fundraising activities with the aim of assisting local community organisations in their services to people in need.

In addition to a range of private functions throughout the year, Paddy’s Market is the Group’s only public event and remains one of the ERG’s biggest fundraisers.

In the early years, Paddy’s ran over two days out of marquees. Prior to the advent of craft markets and garage sales, Paddy’s drew huge crowds of people, some travelling long distances every year. It was renowned for the quality and diversity of goods for sale.

The proceeds from Paddy’s and ERG’s other activities are distributed at the end of the year to local organisations who request assistance. The aim of the Eltham Rural Group is to raise locally and give locally.

The proceeds of Paddy’s Market and our other fundraising activities are used to support local services that benefit our community, such as:

  • The Royal District Nursing Service towards the cost of leg ulcer dressings. As our population ages, there is a growing need for this service.
  • The Riding for the Disabled program Berry Street, for their services providing shelter and care for women and children at risk of abuse.
  • Our local CFA Brigades for updating essential computer equipment and technology
  • Banksia Palliative Care C.A.V.E. supporting disadvantaged students,
  • Nillumbik Health Services and the Living and Learning Centre
  • Woodridge Pre-School for their programs for little children with special needs
  • Eltham Retirement Centre, residential high and low care for elderly people Eltham Scout groups
  • Noraccom, providing residential care for young adults with intellectual disabilities
  • Kalparrin Special School

ERG was also privileged to support the Blacksmith Tree project commemorating the people and communities so tragically affected by the bushfires in February 2009. The tree has been erected at Strethewan.