Community organisations and voluntary groups are to get almost a million pounds of funding from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, under a scheme to support the vital work that they do.
A commitment totalling £916,100 in grants and support for a range of projects and organisations over the next three years was agreed by the Cabinet at a meeting on Tuesday (6 February).
Funding for 13 specific projects run by not-for-profit organisations was agreed from the Community and Voluntary Sector Grants Scheme, totalling £687,700 over the next three years. The council’s key focus for the latest round of these grants is on making older people feel less isolated; supporting families, especially those from more disadvantaged backgrounds; helping young people to reach their full potential; getting people back to work and encouraging better physical and mental health.
Two organisations were given funding for projects from the scheme for the first time from April. The Basingstoke Disability Forum will now be able to expand their project helping people with disabilities access services, advice and support and to deliver this in more rural areas. And the YMCA will now deliver the Y Pass scheme to teach life skills to vulnerable18 to 25 year olds including those at risk of homelessness after a successful pilot.
The other successful grants for projects will go to:
• Basingstoke NeighbourCare for the befriending scheme for older people and expanding the volunteer driver scheme
• Home-Start North West Hampshire for the home visiting service for families in need
• RCS Ltd to deliver the ‘Be Confident to Work’ programme for unemployed adults facing specific challenges
• Westside Community Association’s family support service
• Fluid Motion Theatre Company for the ‘All In The Mind’ mental health arts festival and outreach programme
• M3 Job Club for the ‘Realising Your Potential’ programme for job searchers
• Age Concern Hampshire for the wellbeing and outreach and advice services for isolated older people
• Community Furniture Project for the Five Steps Plus training programme for vulnerable people facing barriers to employment and the Nature Knowledge family learning programme
• Brighton Hill Community Association’s youth project
• Inspero for the Children’s Healthy Lifestyle Programme with cookery classes, forest school and gardening club
• Basingstoke Mencap Services for the Greenfingers Plus gardening and woodworking skills programme for adults with learning disabilities or mental health issues.
In addition to the grants covering specific projects, the council is also giving £228,500 over the next three years in new strategic grants to help with the overall running of community organisations that provide specialist services integral to supporting the council’s work.
These will go to Basingstoke Consortium and Young People’s Independent Counselling. Basingstoke Consortium is a registered charity that works with schools, colleges and community providers to help prepare young people for the world of work and forges partnerships between education and business. Young People’s Independent Counselling, a Basingstoke-based charity, provides free mental health and wellbeing support for young people aged from 11 to 25.
Cabinet Member for Finance, Service Delivery and Improvement Cllr Robert Tate said: “We are fortunate to have so many dedicated community and voluntary organisations and groups in the borough that make such a difference to people’s lives.
“These grants support a wide range of activities that will benefit people from across the borough, especially those that are most vulnerable. They are our investment in supporting vital groups that complement the council’s own services and foster strong partnership working to meet the needs of our communities.”