Groups and organisations set to receive a share of £550,00 funding from council’s Community Chest

Cost-of-living projects to help residents across West Suffolk, are among the schemes recommended for a share from a Community Chest fund of more than £550,000.

A mobile foodbank, community grocery, village café and financial support services helping people with debts, budgeting and applying for benefits, are all among the initiatives that will be considered when West Suffolk Council’s Cabinet meets next Tuesday, February 7.

West Suffolk Council has already supported warm spaces, foodbanks, community work to help people save energy and costs, and other work to help people with the cost-of-living this winter. It gave grants to warm spaces using just under £90,000 of funding from Suffolk County Council through Suffolk’s Collaborative Communities Board (CCB) and is currently paying out a further £70,343 of winter support funds using part of its allocation from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

Next week, the council’s cabinet will consider the recommendations of a Grant Working Party for £557,529 of Community Chest grants to 32 community groups, charities, voluntary organisations, faith groups and social enterprises.

More than £315,000 of the funds would be awarded to 10 organisations directly identified as helping residents with the cost-of-living.

The Grant Working Party, which met three times to discuss each of the applications in detail, was chaired by councillor Carol Bull.

She said: “There’s some amazing work being carried out by a great many community groups, voluntary organisations and charities across West Suffolk, to help our residents and improve lives. While Community Chest isn’t exclusively for cost-of-living support, we also recognise that there will be increased demand for some of these services at this time. We have been mindful of this as we went through each of these applications in detail and we have put forward recommendations that will benefit residents of all ages, across the whole of West Suffolk.”

Cabinet last year increased Community Chest by 10 per cent for 2023/24 specifically to fund work that helps residents with the challenges around the cost-of-living. The pot of funding was given a further top up with £44,123 from the council’s UKSPF allocation taking its total to £557,529.

Robert Everitt, cabinet member for Families and Communities, said: “Over the years, through Community Chest and councillor locality budgets, we have not only invested in the work of community groups and organisations, but in some cases, we have provided guidance and assistance to help them get set up and made them aware of other external funding. All of this has in turn benefitted the health and wellbeing of residents in West Suffolk.

“We now face a different set of challenges around the cost-of-living and have already helped around 60 community organisations access over £160,000 of funds to support the work that they are doing, helping residents through the winter.

“I’d like to thank councillor Bull and the other members of the Grant Working Party for the many hours they have spent looking at the detail of each application and I look forward to discussing their recommendations with my cabinet colleagues next week.”

In total, the council received 52 applications from a wide variety of organisations, totalling £1,137,335. Some applications were declined as they didn’t meet the scheme criteria or supply enough information as to how it would benefit residents.

Wherever it can, the families and communities team will help direct those who aren’t receiving Community Chest, to other appropriate sources of funding.

The table below gives a summary of the organisations recommended to receive Community Chest funding

Who Where What for How much
Haverhill Community Trust Haverhill Funding to provide our national award-winning SignPost projects: Junior SignPost (13-16 years), Adult SignPost (16-25 years) and SignPost Toddler ‘N’ Me (young parents up to 25 years) – wellbeing support groups for those at risk of marginalisation or social exclusion due to poor mental health, e.g. anxiety, depression, low mood, low confidence or self-esteem. £11,620
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds Cost-of-living project

Creative Theatre Workshop delivered at Theatre Royal – half day drama and well-being workshop. This project will provide a safe, warm place for participants to develop their social skills.

St Mary’s Church Haverhill Cost-of-living project

To update our kitchen to enable St Mary’s Church to offer free hot meals to families in need during this difficult time.

Suffolk Accident and Rescue Service (SARS) West Suffolk West Suffolk Funding to support six SARS solo responders and a team vehicle to be permanently based within West Suffolk. £10,000
St Nicholas Hospice Trust West Suffolk Funding for Nicky’s Way bereavement service for children and young people. It supports for children and young people aged five to 18 who have experienced the death of someone significant to them. £20,000
Art Branches Community Interest Company West Suffolk Funding for wellbeing creative service for patients in West Suffolk area who are affected by cancer. Cancer treatments can be both challenging mentally and physically to get through and Art Branches wants to improve people’s chances of staying mentally well during this treatment. £9524
Bury Drop In Bury St Edmunds Cost-of-living project

Funding to support a weekly self-help progression group. During every session, the group cook a meal together; learning how to format recipes, budgeting and develop cookery skills.

Wood Monkey Community Interest Company West Suffolk West Suffolk Funding to support young people to gain self-confidence, self-esteem, and experience a boost to their mental health from creating and building their own products, and from connecting with people who understand them. £20,000
Reach Community Projects Haverhill Cost-of-living project

Funding to support a mobile Recourses hub including foodbank in various venues on different days around the town.

Catch 22, Suffolk Positive Futures Mildenhall and Newmarket Funding to deliver twice a week free boxing sessions for young people, taking place in Mildenhall and Newmarket. The project would support young people living in these areas to become physically active each week which will improve their physical and mental wellbeing. £4800
Mildenhall and Newmarket Sea Cadets Mildenhall Funding will support the group’s ability to make Kayaks/canoes available to more young people increasing both their physical activity and mental wellbeing. £6000
The Racing Centre Newmarket To establish an ethnic minority health and wellbeing program in Newmarket locality to improve wellbeing. This will take the form of a group fitness classes, personalised wellbeing checks and support sessions around signposting and accessing services available locally £5,400
Vogue Athletics Newmarket For a gymnastics-style gym and community hub in Newmarket, accessible for all of Suffolk. £10,000
Bridge Community Church Bury St Edmunds Cost-of-living project

Community grocery will allow beneficiaries to obtain what they need for themselves and receive further help such as budgeting advice and support with filling out applications for benefits from trained volunteers.

Cambridge Pringle Group Haverhill Purchase our own men’s shed for project to assist participants mental wellbeing and reduce in isolation. £7800
West Suffolk Hive Community Interest Company West Suffolk To provide educational and wellbeing sessions to families and children aged from 0- 16 years old. £3982
Hundon Village Hall and Playing Fields Charity Hundon Cost-of-living project

To expand voluntary ‘Community Cafe’ providing tea and cake/biscuits, and an opportunity for social interaction between attendees many of whom are elderly residents of the village.

Bury St Edmunds Women’s Aid Haverhill For young people’s support and Healthy Relationships Programmes (HRP) and associated work with sector professionals in Haverhill. £4200
Cruse Bereavement West Suffolk To deliver personalised specialist support to an estimated 100 adults and children in West Suffolk. £4882
Befriending Scheme Haverhill To continue a Cookery skills group in Haverhill, every Wednesday 10am-3pm. The focus of the group is teaching basic cooking skills to vulnerable adults with learning disabilities. £5000
Families Together Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill To deliver Birth and Beyond to support young mums, under the age of 25 years, who are living in Acorn House, Bury St Edmunds and Coupals Court in Haverhill, who come under the umbrella of being homeless. £5908
Sharing Parenting West Suffolk For a Special Educational Needs (SEN) project worker to help build and develop groups in West Suffolk, providing support to parents. £5142
Suffolk Family Carers West Suffolk Health coaching for 20 Young Adult Carers (YAC) in West Suffolk. £10,000
Second Chance Stroke Association Bury St Edmunds Funding towards costs of professional Physiotherapist to help stroke survivors. £3840
BME Suffolk Support Group Mildenhall Cost-of-living project

Foodbank open to all communities with traditional food supply to ethnic communities and fresh food, veg and continental foods provides to wider community.

Gatehouse Caring Bury St Edmunds Cost-of-living project

Funding toward Homestore and Foodbank not just to provide or sell cheap food but to help build more support and resilience to individuals and the wider community.

Lightwave Charitable incorporated organisation Beck Row and Red Lodge Cost-of-living project


Sustain the food bank operation and provide a warm and safe space in its café for people, especially pensioners and those in need of support with mental health issues.

Our Special Friends West Suffolk Funding for Animal Companionship Practitioners to provide a Crisis Support and Prevention service which assesses the needs of every case and provides whatever support is needed to bring about a positive solution. £5000
The Voluntary Network West Suffolk Funding for Befriending service, a team of volunteers providing one to one support to people over 60 years old who would otherwise be isolated. Volunteers spend an hour per week to offer friendship and support, face to face visits or by telephone. The service accepts referrals from GPs, Social Services, family and other voluntary organisations. £31,700
The Voluntary Network West Suffolk Funding for community transport scheme providing support to any resident that finds it difficult to use public transport, age, mobility or lack of scheduled services. £52,810
The Gunners Football Club West Row Money for equipment so club can provide more opportunities for all ages. £5550
Citizens Advice West Suffolk West Suffolk Towards costs of providing information, advice and advocacy across the West Suffolk area, including financial capability work in the community. £245,379



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