The 44 projects funded so far include:
• ‘no-waste’ cookery sessions to be run at the Vine Centre in Aldershot,
• the provision of warm winter bedding and energy efficient cooking equipment to 100 families supported by the Ringwood Foodbank,
• after-school hot meals for vulnerable families provided by the Wickham Community Association and
• community dinners organised by Waterlooville Foodbank on a ‘pay what you can’ basis.
The full list of local and county-wide projects receiving grants is available on the connect4communities website.
The connect4communities programme is coordinated by the County Council, working with a wide range of partners, including district councils, voluntary and charity groups, to coordinate a range of measures that support families and individuals facing hardship. Funding is provided to local authorities by the Department for Work and Pensions from its Household Support Fund. The support is targeted at a wide range of low-income households in need, including families with children of all ages, pensioners, unpaid carers, care leavers and disabled people who would otherwise struggle with energy and water bills, as well as the cost of food.
Councillor Edward Heron, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “Many families across Hampshire continue to struggle with the cost of living and with autumn and winter just around the corner, these grants can be used in a timely way by a wide range of local organisations, dedicated to making a real difference on the ground.”
A further opportunity for organisations to apply for community grant funding through this scheme, opens on Thursday 7 September, closing on Friday 6 October.
Inviting local organisations to pitch their ideas, Cllr Heron added: “The great news is that we have further vital funding available for local voluntary and community organisations to apply for and this means more ways to help those in need.”
This year, the County Council has allocated £1.3million for community grants, to help organisations develop initiatives tailored to local needs. An additional £200,000 is being used to provide food and energy advice services, alongside practical help with costs.
Full details on applying for community grants are available online.