Funding available for community groups

Hart District Council has launched a second round of funding for voluntary and community groups as part of their Community Connections grant programme. 

Voluntary and community groups and parish and town councils can apply for grants of up to £2,500 each to help establish new initiatives or enable existing projects and services to reach more people. 

The scheme is part of a range of support the Council and its partner Hart Voluntary Action provide to the local voluntary and community sector. 

So far, the Community Connections fund has awarded over £8,500 in grants to five local voluntary and community groups to support projects which tackle social isolation and improve the wellbeing of residents classed as Clinically Vulnerable (CV) or Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) under national guidelines.  

These target groups will continue to be a priority in the second round of the scheme, but applications will also be welcomed for projects that benefit disabled people who may not be classed as CV or CEV. Health Foundation analysis of the Office for National Statistics Opinions and Lifestyle survey shows that disabled people are more likely to report that COVID-19 restrictions have had a negative impact on their lives than non-disabled people. 

Cllr Stuart Bailey, Cabinet Member for Community at Hart District Council, said “The pandemic has impacted us all, but the effects have been particularly profound for some people within our communities. We are delighted to be working alongside Hart Voluntary Action to support local projects and services which will play a vital role in helping residents connect with others and rebuild their confidence and wellbeing. I would encourage any eligible groups with an idea to get in touch to find out more.”  

Further information on the eligibility criteria and how to apply for the grants is available on our website www.hart.gov.uk/covid-19-supporting-our-residents  

Three groups which have already benefited from grants are the Daisy Chain Café, Yateley United Football Club and Calls and Visits. 

Daisy Chain Café received a grant to provide a tea in the park event and a re-launch party for people living with dementia and their carers. 

Yateley United Football Club was awarded funding to expand their existing walking football provision and develop a new inclusive football group to enable people of all abilities to enjoy the game. 

Calls and Visits, a group which aims is to bring friendly conversations into the homes of Hart residents who find it difficult to get out and about, received funding to help promote the service. 

Christine Oldfield, Group Leader of the Calls and Visits service said: “Not all of us can get out and about easily. Calls and Visits was created to match up those who have a little spare time to chat with those feeling isolated in their homes.  

The idea for the service came when I had a bad injury and the pain kept me house bound – but for others the isolation may be due to frailty, anxiety or caring for another. We need to reach into people’s homes with our invitation to join a conversation! That’s why the Community Connections Grant will be used to deliver over 3,000 leaflets door-to-door."  

If this grant does not fit with your community organisation or charity's objectives and activity, then do get in touch with Hart Voluntary Action to discuss your fundraising needs - more detail about Hart Voluntary Action on their website, www.hartvolaction.org.uk, along with an enquiry form to get in touch.  

For more information about Calls and Visits call 01252 621599 or email callsandvisits@gmail.com