More than 20 projects are benefitting from a grant scheme set up to help people stay warm and connected this winter – with further funding now available under the Cost of Living Community Grant Fund.
The scheme was launched in November to enable voluntary organisations and community groups to help people struggling to meet the cost of living in East Suffolk.
Funded via the Suffolk Collaborative Communities Board, from the Suffolk Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF), the scheme has so far helped more than 20 projects, including:
• YMCA Trinity Group’s safe, warm community space for a chat and a hot meal in Lowestoft
• Middleton-cum-Fordley Parish Council’s warm room, offering soup and a roll, as well as access to laptop and support for filling in forms
• 5th Woodbridge Sea Scouts’ offer of a warm room and meals
Funding is still available to enable community, voluntary and social enterprise organisations, or town and parish councils, to support individuals and families who are struggling due to the current cost of living crisis.
Cllr Letitia Smith, East Suffolk Council's cabinet member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism, said:
“It’s uplifting to know that so many projects have so far benefited from our Cost of Living Community Grant Fund – and I’ve been really encouraged by the range of support offered by our public-spirited local groups and organisations.
“It’s important to remember that, as the cold weather continues, many people are still feeling the effects of rising household bills, so I’m pleased to announce another opportunity for community projects to secure funding.”
The primary objective of the Cost of Living Community Grant is to fund activities that aim to keep people warm and socially connected.
Also welcome are the provision of drinks, snacks and hot food, as well as any activities or advice and information to support people with the rising cost of living.
Funding can be used to offset an increase in energy (heating and lighting) costs related to keeping people warm and connected.
The fund closes on Friday 24 March and grants have to be spent within six months of the award.
Aside from increased heating costs, funding can be used to cover:
• Hall hire, provision of food and the cost of activities
• Expenses associated with coordination of community food and energy support
• Volunteer costs for new and existing organisations supporting residents to access food and energy support, or to stay connected via travel and other expenses, for example
Projects should complement and not duplicate any projects funded through the East Suffolk Ease the Squeeze programme.
The fund will provide grants of between £500 and £5,000 for projects which support local residents struggling due to the rising cost of living.
Please read the Guidance Notes and complete the application form carefully before submitting your application and provide as much information as possible in your application to enable the panel to understand your project and what it will deliver.