Monday 4 March 2024
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Nottingham

Nottinghamshire voluntary groups to share more than £170,000 grant funding

Dozens of voluntary organisations and community groups in Nottinghamshire  are set to receive a share of £170,000 to help residents in most need.

As part of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Local Communities Fund scheme, two types of cost of living grants have been available to eligible groups who are:

•  Helping those who are struggling to buy nutritious food to help improve health and well-being and build resilience.
•  In need of a contribution towards their own rising energy bills to help keep their welcoming and warm centres and halls open across the county.

Councillor Scott Carlton, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health which oversees the LCF scheme, describes the response to the third and final round of these grants that sees 74 groups being allocated funds.

He said: “Over the course of this scheme we have allocated the money to a wide range of eligible groups to ensure these funds bring long-term health and well-being benefits to those Nottinghamshire communities most in need.

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“This includes funding for projects which have demonstrated an inbuilt sustainability beyond the lifetime of the grant and can also help reduce demand on health and social care services.

“We are proud that this dedicated cost of living grant scheme has supported groups, charities, and organisations to help them continue their essential work in the  community.”

Around 200 projects have now benefitted from cost-of-living grants worth a total of £450,000 since the first round of payments in March 2023.

One of the groups to benefit from all three rounds of grants is the Bilsthorpe Emergency Team which helps provide affordable and nutritious food in the community.  In total, the group has received £6,680, including £2,500, via this most recent round.

Julie Francis, vice chairperson of the Bilsthorpe Emergency Team, describes the benefits the funding has brought to residents.

She said: “This funding has meant we have been able to help even more people by supplementing food parcels with more fruit, veg and protein.

“Over the year we have fed more than 10,500 people around Bilsthorpe and surrounding areas.  We have had so much positive feedback from the community who tell us how much this scheme has helped their health and well-being and reduced the worry around being able to afford a nutritious meal.

“We have also been able to provide emergency provision ‘out of hours’ for individuals or families in crisis, working with partners.”

Another group which has benefitted throughout the scheme is Family Action which launched Food On Our Doorstep in Mansfield to provide good-quality food at a low cost, while also reducing food waste.

Family Action current runs five clubs: Bellamy, APTCOO, Crescent, Mansfield Woodhouse and Oak Tree.

In total, the group has received £41,545 including £11,350 via the most recent round.

Sandra Alvey, Family Action’s FOOD Club Coordinator in Mansfield, says: “We were very grateful to receive funding to support this scheme throughout Mansfield.

“In Bellamy, for instance, the number of people wishing to access the club has been increasing, and this funding has helped us to develop the club, welcome more members, and increase the amount and variety of food items we provide.

“The club offers local residents social benefits too – the chance to come to a trusted venue at the heart of the community each week, to meet other people, to offer mutual support, and to make new friends.”

Richard Clarey, a trustee of Clipstone Miners’ Welfare Community Trust that offers recreational social and sporting activities and facilities for local families, explains how cost of living grant funding worth £7,275, which includes £4,420 from this latest round, has benefitted the charity and local community.

He said: “Receiving the cost of living grant has meant we are now able to offer a warm hub for the local community, which has been vital during the winter months.

“It has allowed us to increase our support to our community and this warm space has been well received by all who use it.”

Muskham Rural Community Centre has received £4,285 during the course of the scheme, including £2,500 for the latest round.

Jude Andrews, from the centre, said: “It is a challenging time for charities and community groups with running costs so high, especially energy bills.

“This is why we are very grateful for this support as these grants help us to keep our centres clean, warm and welcoming for the benefit of the community.”

The St Albans Community Kitchen in Bestwood has been awarded a total of £5,055 cost of living funds, including £4,000 in this most recent round. It serves more than twenty thousand meals to local residents each year.

Describing how the funding has benefited the community, Revered Nikki Bates Vicar of Emmanuel Church said,

“We are extremely grateful for this funding as the cost of living has impacted people in all circumstances of life and this project has been a lifeline for families and older people in the area. The kitchen is run by a small team of volunteers and completely relies on funding as there is no charge for the food.

“The warm space, crafts for children and tabletop games, along with the hot nutritious food are important factors for people – but other issues such as community cohesion and wellbeing are being addressed as it’s a place to meet friends and make friends.”

With the cost of living scheme now closed, eligible groups will be able to apply for other grants via the Local Communities Fund.

This includes capital grants which can help towards improvements to facilities that help improve health, wellbeing, and the environment such as improvements to sports facilities, play areas or green spaces.

Revenue grants will also be available to help projects with their day-to-day running costs such as paying wages and bills.

Both grants schemes are due to be open for applications later this spring.

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