Councillor Fairhurst said: “The demand for social care support is growing, but the funding available to us is not keeping pace with this growth. Voluntary and community organisations provide valuable locally based services, and are often much better placed than we are to provide the early help needed to keep people well, living at home, and as independent as possible for as long as possible.”
The following grants for between one to two years have been awarded:
- £240,000 to MHA who provide a range of services to enable older people to live a fulfilled later life through community clubs. The grant will support the creation of new clubs and the introduction of home visits for severely isolated individuals
- £145,000 to Good Neighbours whose networks offer a helping hand to others in their local community. The grant will be used to promote, support and develop additional neighbourhood groups
- £49,894 to Autism Hampshire, continuing to fund services to support people with autism before, during and post diagnosis with advice, guidance and support
- £40,000 to Age Concern Hampshire to support local volunteers in rural settings to provide information and advice for vulnerable adults in their communities, with a particular focus on supporting people at risk of social isolation and loneliness.
A further £237,799 in grants is being allocated to a variety of community organisations in Basingstoke, East Hants, Fareham, Hart, Havant, New Forest and Rushmoor, as part of the Local Solutions Grant Award. These are smaller grants to organisations whose focus is to meet the needs of people in single localities, rather than across the county. Each recipient organisation has had to demonstrate how it has engaged with local people on how best to help them to stay independent.
Examples of organisations due to receive a Local Solutions Grant include:
- £6,250 to The Forest Forge Theatre in the New Forest who support a theatre group for older people, helping to break down social isolation and loneliness, and build confidence
- £10,000 to The Vine Centre’s Shoulder to Shoulder project in Rushmoor, providing a trained support worker across the three most deprived wards in Rushmoor to offer home support on a range of topics and practical help with small tasks
- £10,000 to One Community’s Back to the Future project in Fareham, working with older people and those with dementia to share past experiences, build networks and break down social isolation.