Council grants nearly £85k to the voluntary sector in a year
More than half of the funding was handed out during the Covid-19 crisis to the VCS organisations cover increased costs.
The Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) has received around £85,000 in grants from the council in the year 2019 to 2020. More than half of the funding was used to support vulnerable people during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Four different funds make up the £84,858.90 funding: the Councillors Community Fund; the Gloucester Lottery; grants to advice agencies; and the Community Resilience fund. A total of £46,015 went to VCS organisations during the Covid-19 crisis through the Community Resilience Fund.
The council is now looking to renew the Councillors Community fund and Gloucester Lottery grant streams for 2020 to 2021, with a report going to cabinet on Wednesday 15 July.
The decision to award grants to VCS organisations and groups in the city was made as part of the council’s commitment to Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). ABCD recognises the strengths within communities and supports those communities to find positive solutions to issues they face.
The grant funding can be used by new or existing groups and organisations to get projects that benefit their community off the ground.
One recipient of funding via the Gloucester Lottery is Al Ashraf Primary School. The school launched the Young Thinkers Project which gets much needed educational resources and equipment to the local community. The Redwell Centre in Matson was able to transform a derelict piece of land in to the Serenity Garden using their grant from the lottery. People experiencing mental ill health can go to the garden for peace and calm, or get involved with vegetable and flower growing.
Councillors have been given a portion of funding to award to projects in their ward, enabling them to support projects and activities such as community benches, outdoor equipment and storage, and community events.
Many VCS organisations incurred additional costs because of the increased work they were doing throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to support vulnerable people, so the council launched the Community Resilience Fund to help cover these costs. Many local groups were able to use this funding to create activity packs for young people and more isolated residents while in lockdown.
Cllr Jennie Watkins, cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods, said: “The council really appreciates and values the voluntary and community sector in the city, which has been vital to supporting people throughout the pandemic.
“The money we’re able to award to through the grant funding enables communities to use their strengths, passions and skills to create tangible, workable solutions to issues that matter most to them.
“We’ve seen some incredible projects come to fruition over the last year, and we’re really excited to see what else will be jumped started in the future using the renewed funding streams.”
The cabinet agenda and meeting details can be viewed here: http://democracy.gloucester.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=129&MId=6789