Community services benefiting from over £270k of council funding

18 January 2017

Council grants of over £270,000 are being put to great use in local communities every day, that’s the verdict from council bosses.

In a review of how grant funding from South Cambridgeshire District Council has been spent in the first half of 2016/17, council bosses are pleased to see charities and community groups putting money to great use for residents across the district.

The Council’s popular Community Chest scheme paid out £79,000 to 63 village ventures, from playground improvements to library and foodbank shelving, church refurbishments to football goals. The first-come, first-served grants of up to £1,500 proved so popular that applications closed in September.

The final project from a funding pot that has paid out nearly half a million pounds continues to progress. Hardwick Scout Group’s new community building project has approximately 50% of funds in place – including a £30,000 Council grant that is helping to leverage further funding from other bodies.

Money for local Citizen’s Advice services has helped over 1,800 people with a range of issues from benefits and tax credits to utilities and consumer advice. On debt alone, the CAB advised on amounts totalling £1.9m, helping to write off or reschedule payments of nearly £800k.

Other local highlights include:

  • support for over 250 older residents to live independently in their own homes through the work of twelve mobile warden schemes
  • almost 3,000 journeys by community minibus and car schemes - helping residents stay independent and get out and about
  • new walking groups and days out to help residents with mental health issues, older and vulnerable adults and their carers
  • support and advice for residents with disabilities supported with benefit claims and appeals of £16k
  • over 140 support and fundraising advice sessions for over 50 local organisations
  • providing computer and internet access for homeless people to help them bid for council housing and look for work
  • over 100 local people on low incomes given access to low-cost household  goods
  • over 70 local residents supported by Women’s Aid
  • grant support for nineteen young athletes and para athletes

Cllr Simon Edwards, cabinet member for finance at South Cambridgeshire District Council said: “I’m proud to review the positive impact our funding is having across the district. Local groups are based in the heart of their communities and our partner charities have specialist expertise built up over many years. Grants help them to deliver just what residents need, where and when they need it; and can give them a bedrock to access more funding too.

“We’re one of the best places to live in the country, and a big part of that down to community spirit and the great local charities and support networks that help residents at all ages and stages of their lives. Thank you to them all.”