New funding available to help build stronger communities
Gloucestershire County Council has launched a new 'Community Chest Fund' and is now inviting applications for grants.
The fund is part of the council's work to encourage active communities, with grants available from £500 up to a maximum of £5,000 for projects that improve the long term viability of local organisations that support people who are vulnerable in our county.
The council is particularly interested in local projects that help people to become more involved in their community, and that will improve the viability of places where communities can come together. They are also interested in projects that help people to get online and use the internet safely.
There are already a number of successful projects in Gloucestershire which have received small grants funding from the county council including one successful Active Together Grant application which was awarded £5,000 for the purchase of sports equipment and the development of a green area into a 'Fresh Air Fitness area' for the over 50's.
Another grant for £3000 was used to refurbish the kitchen in a community hall as part of a project that has led to a rota of volunteers providing monthly lunches for the lonely and elderly of the community.
These projects have shown how investment in local places and organisations can directly benefit people, not only by improving their general fitness and social networks, but also by helping them to remain independent within their own homes.
The Community Chest Fund is now open and applications are invited for one off grants. Applications with match funding are also encouraged. The funding must be spent by 31st August 2016.
Local community and voluntary groups, town and parish councils, registered charities and community interest groups are all welcome to apply.
Religious groups are also invited to make an application that meets the grant objectives and shows that the project will benefit the wider community.
For more information on the Community Chest Fund and an application pack please call 01452 324051 or visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/community-chest-grant
Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Deputy Leader of Gloucestershire County Council said, "If you have an idea to get vulnerable people in your local community active then we want to hear from you, from extra sports equipment to developing green spaces, the county council can make it happen through Community Chest funding."
The initiative was put forward by Cllr Lesley Williams, Leader of the Labour Group at Gloucestershire County Council, she said, "I would encourage those with bright ideas, and a desire to help their community, to come forward and apply for this funding. The Labour group started this initiative so that local community groups can get help to develop services in their community."
Interested groups have until 15th February 2016 to make an application.
The council will contact applicants within 28 days of the closing date to confirm whether their bids have been successful.