The vital work that local community and voluntary groups do to transform lives is set to be supported with a quarter of a million pounds in funding, with the launch of the latest round of a borough council grant scheme.
Since the Community and Voluntary Sector Grant Scheme was introduced by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in 2015, projects helping people in the borough have benefitted to the tune of around £600,000.
The scheme offers annual awards of up to £20,000 to not-for-profit organisations which are working to improve the lives of residents.
This round of the community grants is particularly aimed at projects which will engage with older people, give support to disadvantaged families, help young people to realise their potential, encourage residents to improve their physical and mental health and boost their employment opportunities.
A budget of £266,000 was agreed by Cabinet in July for the 2018/19 grants. Funding applications for community projects which will take place between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2021 are now being invited online at www.basingstoke.gov.uk/funding.
Cabinet Member for Finance, Service Delivery and Improvement Cllr Robert Tate said: “It’s wonderful to hear how these grants are making a real difference to people’s lives. We are very lucky to have such dedicated not-for-profit organisations within the borough, and that we’re able to support them through the Community and Voluntary Sector Grant Scheme.
“We want to hear from organisations which are making a difference, so we can continue to improve the lives of residents.”
Among the schemes which have benefitted in previous rounds of grants is the Aspire Job Club programme, which is delivered by Basingstoke Mencap and supports job seekers with learning difficulties to develop their confidence and secure paid and volunteering opportunities. Over the last two years the organisation has received grant funding of £27,000.
One parent said of the programme: “It offers great encouragement to young people who have trouble coping with the outside world. They have helped my son to look for a job, gain more confidence, make new friends and work as a team member”.
Groups also benefitting from the cash injection were Fluid Motion Theatre Company, which has received a total of £21,011 to deliver theatre workshops, Basingstoke Neighbourcare’s Car Scheme, which received £7,650, and Inspero, which was awarded £20,050 to encourage young people to get hands-on with growing and cooking food.