Community groups, charities, voluntary organisations, faith groups and social enterprises only have weeks left to apply to West Suffolk Council’s Community Chest fund.
The fund, which invests in initiatives that support residents’ health and wellbeing, has been increased by West Suffolk Council this year to help with the cost-of-living crisis. More than £500,000 is available, up by 10 per cent on previous years.
The deadline for applications to the Community Chest fund is 6pm, on September 30.
Community Chest has already invested more than £3.2m over the past seven years in supporting community led initiatives to help residents.
That includes funding for work to support and empower families dealing with trauma, the building of various support networks to offer greater community resilience, and to work to help break patterns of abusive behaviour.
Initiatives to tackle loneliness, social isolation and help people feel more connected and involved with their local community, have also received Community Chest funding.
And money has been invested in helping with people’s physical and mental health, as well as providing advice and advocacy services and targeted community activities.
During the pandemic, the council worked with and supported many of these groups in their efforts to get shopping and medicine for vulnerable people who were shielding at home, as well as providing a friendly voice at the end of a phone to those who were alone.
Now it is looking to support the work of many of these voluntary organisations once more, to help people through the cost-of-living crisis.
“We already know that many of the groups that we have funded before are working to help people through the ongoing impact of the current cost-of-living,” said Robert Everitt, cabinet member for Families and Communities at West Suffolk Council.
“We are increasing the money available through Community Chest so we can invest in and support this and other work to help our residents in West Suffolk. Community Chest is still open to applications for much of the important work that we’ve previously invested in, building stronger families and more resilient communities.
“But when we look at this year’s Community Chest applications, we will be putting particular emphasis on how the work that we fund will help people, particularly those most vulnerable, through the cost-of-living challenges that we face.”
The minimum amount that can be applied for has also been raised from £1,000 in previous years, to £2,500.
Councillor locality budgets can support smaller applications throughout the year. The final change to the fund sees applications only being available for funding for 2023/24.
Successful grant applications will be awarded in February 2023 and paid in April 2023.
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