The connect4communities programme is run by the County Council, working with partners, including voluntary and charity groups, to coordinate a range of measures that support families facing hardship. Funding is provided to local authorities by the Department for Work and Pensions from its Household Support Fund.
Councillor Roz Chadd, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “I am pleased that we are able to provide funding to organisations who are helping families and individuals experiencing difficulties, especially during the colder months. The challenges over the last two years have been hard for everyone, but it has been especially tough for some who are struggling because of loss of income and rising costs. I encourage voluntary, charity and community groups across the county to apply for a Community Grant and help make a difference to local people.”
The County Councill has allocated £1.75 million to Community Grants, to help organisations develop initiatives tailored to local needs.
The type of projects awarded funding, include:
- Community groups that provide food parcels and recipe cards to local families with children and the elderly.
- Cook and eat sessions where whole families learn how to make healthy and affordable meals and how to reduce food waste.
- Mobile larders that provide low-cost food, especially in remote rural areas across Hampshire.
- A ‘grow and eat’ programme at a community allotment, which will bring together schoolchildren, community volunteers and local allotment association to grow produce and supply the community pantry for local families to enjoy.
- A community café run by volunteers that provides wraparound support services and offers opportunities in hospitality to young people.
Emergency funds have also been disbursed through schools and other organisations for families with children suffering extreme hardship. For example, in households where they find themselves without cooking facilities or white goods or need extra bedding and warm clothes as they move from a shelter into their own accommodation.
Applications for Community Grants are still open. Organisations wanting to apply should go to connect4communities.org
Visit the grants page on the website for a list of the latest Community Grant recipients.