A community fund that invests in initiatives that support residents’ health and wellbeing, has been increased this year to help with the cost-of-living crisis.
The Community Chest fund, which opens to applications this week, has seen West Suffolk Council increase its pot size by 10 per cent, to now offer over £500,000.
The West Suffolk Council Community Chest grant scheme is open to community groups, charities, voluntary organisations, faith groups and social enterprises.
Since its launch in 2017, Community Chest, has funded a range of initiatives to tackle loneliness, social isolation as well as helping people feel more involved and connected to their local community.
Money has been invested in work to support and empower families dealing with trauma, breaking patterns of abuse, or bringing people together to provide a support network that can help them in their lives. It has also contributed funds towards work to help with people’s physical and mental health, advice and advocacy services and targeted community activities.
And the council has worked with many of these groups to support local communities during the pandemic, many of whom are now working to support people during the cost-of-living crisis.
“Now with a new challenge upon us all, we are increasing our investment in the work of community groups and the work that they are doing to help improve the lives of West Suffolk residents,” said Robert Everitt, cabinet member for Families and Communities at West Suffolk Council.
“Many of the groups that we have funded before are already working to help people through this challenging time. While I anticipate receiving applications for much of the other important work that we’ve previously invested in to build stronger families and more resilient communities, when we look at this year’s Community Chest applications, we will be putting particular emphasis on how the work we fund will help people, particularly those most vulnerable, from the ongoing impact of the current cost-of-living.”
Alongside this, the minimum amount that can be applied for has also been raised from £1,000 to £2,500, partly due to recognition that councillor locality budgets can help support these smaller applications throughout the year. The final change to the fund sees applications only being available for 2023/24.
To apply for Community Chest funding, view the guidance and then complete the online application at https://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/community/community-grants.cfm
The funding is for 2023/24. Applications are open until 5pm on Friday, September 30. Successful grants will be awarded in February 2023 and paid in April 2023.