£1,094,000 going to 60 voluntary, community and not-for-profit organisations to support projects that will reduce social or economic inequality for Cambridge residents from 2023.
This could be through projects to improve health and wellbeing; to help communities come together and bring about change; to give more people better opportunities to gain employment; or to strengthen and grow the voluntary sector in the city.
All proposed funding is subject to approval of the council’s budget at a meeting of Full Council on 23 February 2023.
Of the £1,094,000, £70,000 is allocated as Area Committee Community Grants to fund projects in one of the city’s four areas: North, East, South or West Central.
The funding awarded by the council will only cover a portion of the 60 groups’ activities, which are expected to cost £4,875,273 in total. Groups will secure the remaining £3,132,438 from other sources, with the majority of activities further supported with additional, unquantified contributions, such as volunteer time.
Examples of successful applicants include:
Cambridge Community Arts – awarded £16,000 to run creative arts courses for people disadvantaged and isolated due to mental and physical health conditions, unemployment or economic hardship
Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum – awarded £40,337 to help build the capacity of the minority ethnic voluntary sector in Cambridge, and to support the running of the race equality service and the Cambs Human Rights and Equality Support Service (CHESS)
Cambridge Re-Use – awarded £9,090 to help people on low incomes or benefits to buy furniture, electrical and white goods and other household items
Cambridge United Community Trust – awarded £11,000 to run inclusive physical activity sessions for those that experience barriers to physical activity, running 48 weeks per year
Cambridge Women's Resources Centre – awarded £36,027 towards an employability and wellbeing programme of workshops and groups, enabling skills and confidence building for women and enabling them to re-engage in the community
Centre 33 – awarded £46,765 to support young people to overcome their problems through a range of free, confidential services
The Kite Trust (pictured) – awarded £12,500 to help support LGBT+ young people in Cambridge to have better outcomes in life
Romsey Mill Trust – awarded £13,038 to support young parents (up to age 21) seeking to gain a qualification, and to run Aspire Plus for 17-19 year olds with autism.
As in previous years, a large portion of the funding is set to be awarded to Cambridge and District Citizens Advice (£313,930) to support their free debt and money advice service, as well as funding a full time specialist welfare rights caseworker; and to Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service (£88,166) to support local community and voluntary groups.
For 2023-2024 a simpler ‘small grants’ application process was trialled, for applications up to £2,000, leading to an increase this year in the number of applications received for sums of £2,000 or under, with a significant number of applications from groups that have not previously applied for Community Grants.
Cllr Mairéad Healy, Executive Councillor for Equalities, Anti-Poverty and Wellbeing, said: “We are very proud of our community grants programme – one of the most generous of its kind nationally for a local authority of our size – and reaffirm our commitment to funding our community and voluntary sector, which are supporting some of our most vulnerable residents across the city during these difficult times.
“We’d like to pay tribute to all the groups that are doing this vital work and have been awarded funding – we know in many cases this support is life changing for our residents.”