Councils launch new winter grant to tackle social isolation

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils have launched a new grant to help communities tackle issues like social isolation and the need for “warm spaces” this winter.

The “Living Well in Winter” grant has been set up to help local VCFSE (voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise) organisations provide new, accessible spaces and activities for people to enjoy, or expand upon existing projects.

The funding means that the councils can help communities tackle social isolation and address the choice for some residents of whether to heat or eat this winter – as the cost-of-living crisis continues to take its toll.

Eligible projects might include after-school clubs, the continuation of warm spaces, subsidised family sports sessions, multi-generational activities, lunch clubs and sessions to help people discover new hobbies.

Parish councils, uniformed groups, sports clubs, pre schools, parent-teacher associations, village halls and faith settings are among the list of organisations that can apply for the grant under the VCFSE banner and those that submit an application must already be providing a service to residents of the district.

Groups can apply for a minimum of £500 and a maximum of £2,000. Applications are now open and can be submitted until Sunday, December 17.

Tim Weller, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for Environment, Culture and Wellbeing, said: “There can sometimes be additional pressures on families during the winter months and we want to support and build on the good work that is already happening in communities.

“I hope that VCFSE groups in our district take advantage of this grant and that we can work together to provide some supportive opportunities for residents.”

And Deborah Saw, Babergh District Council cabinet member for People and Place, added: “With this grant, we are building on the good work we have done in partnership with the parishes and voluntary sector to help our communities respond to the cost-of-living crisis and social isolation.

“Winter can be a struggle for so many families and the elderly, but we know that this type of support can really make a difference. The councils, voluntary sector and community groups continue to rise to the challenge.”

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