General

BCP Thriving Communities Fund returns for second year with grants of up to £5k

By Sam Pither [email protected]

Published: March 21, 2024 | Updated: 21st March 2024

Dorset Community Foundation is working in partnership with BCP Council to offer grants of up to £3,000 for capital projects in community buildings and £5,000 for volunteer-led projects that improve lives for a second year.

The BCP Thriving Communities Fund has used money awarded to the council through the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund as part of its Levelling Up agenda. Last year the fund awarded more than £64,000 in grants to 23 grass roots charities and voluntary groups.

Among the recipients was Townsend Community Association, which was awarded £1,379 for a new glass-fronted refrigerator for the Community Fridge project, shelving, an urn and litter picking equipment.

Community Liaison Officer Caroline Green said: “It will become the main fridge so volunteers are able to see the contents without opening the door and now our old fridge is used when we carry out additional donations. We are now carrying out over 50 pick-ups a week so additional storage space is needed.”

Grants manager Ellie Maguire said: “The £3,000 grants for community buildings includes community centres, hubs or village halls and would cover equipment like ovens, flooring, lighting or furniture.

“In their application it will be important for groups to describe the kinds of community groups who use the building and how this supports the needs in their community.

“This might be by addressing isolation and loneliness, improving health and wellbeing, offering opportunities for life-long learning or opportunities for social connectivity and support.”

The £5,000 grants will go to projects delivering impactful volunteering or social action projects and activities that improve lives.

“We aim to award grants that will foster a sense of local pride and belonging and help local people to address issues that are important to them,” said Mrs Maguire.

Last year North Bournemouth Crime Prevention Panel was awarded £3,400 to run scam awareness sessions for lunch clubs and other groups.

“The grant enabled us to visit so many more organisations and groups to give talks and expand the project,” said project co-ordinator Deirdre Redstone.

The fund is open now and applications close on March 29 at midday.

Dorset Community Foundation director Grant Robson said he is delighted to be working with the council again. “I’m very pleased to be working with BCP Council and that we’ve supported it through each of the previous rounds of this fund.

“Our unrivalled knowledge of the voluntary sector right across Dorset, and the close relationship we have with the groups working within it, means the council can be sure that this money is getting to where it will make the most impact.”

Find out more about eligibility and how to apply at dorsetcommunityfoundation.org.

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