Monday, 6 September 2010

Major grants for community groups

Community groups are being called on to help Worcestershire County Council provide mental health support to local people as cost-effectively as possible.

A major new fund, which could see individual grants of up to £150,000 provided to a number of different voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations, is open for applications as part of the council's latest VCS Grants scheme.

It's just one of four different grants up for grabs.

Organisations that can provide activities for older people can apply for up to £5,000 each from the Supporting Community Based Activities For Older People pot.

Up to £5,000 is available from the Giving Older People A Voice fund, which aims to get older people involved with strategies, policies and service delivery.

Grants of up to £1,000 each are also available for events and activities that celebrate cultural diversity.

The council says it expects to get better value for money from groups that work closely with local communities, so the funds will go further and provide more help for people.

The mental health services need to support people who have suffered from psychological or emotional problems to return to a more normal way of life – known as reablement – and help them to look after themselves, their relationships, their homes and their thoughts and feelings. In many cases, the services will manage the switch from high intensity care to longer term support.

The County Council is working with the local NHS to offer the grant. Managers are keen for as many suitable organisations as possible to apply for a minimum of £5,000 each, so they can commission services from a number of different groups in various areas or with a variety of specialities.

The three-year grant is part of the council's Voluntary & Community Sector Grants Scheme, which regularly offers funding to local organisations.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet Member for Planning, Economy & Performance, said: "This is one of the most significant rounds of grants we've offered to voluntary and community sector organisations. It shows how committed we are to working with local groups that understand the needs of our communities and can deliver the best value for money. We all know that public sector funding has to be reduced and we've all heard about the need for greater voluntary and community sector involvement. This is a great example of that principle being put into practice, for the good of people who need our help, so I hope to see an excellent response."

For full details of the four grants opportunities available in Round Six of Worcestershire County Council's VCS Grants scheme, interested organisations should visit or call 01905 728650 begin_of_the_skype_highlightingend_of_the_skype_highlighting.

The deadline for applications is Friday, October 29 at 4pm.

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