Cash boost for volunteers and communities in Devon to help themselves

Posted on: 18 March 2019

Devon county council is to open up its funding opportunities to benefit a wider range of local groups and community projects.

It’s launching three new funds worth nearly £460,000 to support local voluntary and community organisations, groups and projects that help to make communities stronger, and that improve people’s wellbeing.

The aim is to encourage people to work together to feel part of their communities and to be active in them.

A priority this year is to support projects and groups that help tackle loneliness or isolation.

The Council has been looking at different ways to allow more people to have access to its community budgets. Since last July, they have been trialling a project with Crowdfund Devon that has reached many more people.

The trial has provided new funding opportunities, and with every pound invested by the county council through Crowdfund Devon, an additional £8 has been raised by public donation and other funding partners.

Now the council aims to put an additional £100,000 for crowdfunding projects across Devon.

Two other new schemes to be launched shortly are:

A Doing What Matters Fund, worth £329,000, will provide up to £20,000 for individual projects that have significant impact on the wellbeing of local people and communities. Bids will be encouraged from local groups, councils, organisations and collaborations. Successful bids will be required to provide matched funding of at least 25 per cent.

A Making the Connection Fund, worth £30,000, will encourage bids for small amounts of funding that will make a big difference. Up to £300 per bid will help establish or support local community groups that help people connect with others. That might include funding for a walking group or a cooking skills workshop across generations, or room hire for self-help or social groups. The application process will be simple to ensure ideas can quickly have a local impact.

Cllr John HartCounty Council Leader, Cllr John Hart, said:

“We’ve reviewed how we support communities and volunteers across the county and we believe this new format will mean a broader range of community groups and local projects will be able to get access to our financial help.

“Obviously we want every penny of our taxpayers’ cash to go further and have the biggest impact possible.

“Devon people and their communities are innovative and resilient and keen to help themselves. This funding will give them a helping hand themselves.

“Isolation and loneliness are having an impact on people of all generations today. These new funds will support local work to connect people, to be more active, to enjoy our beautiful environment, to be creative, to contribute to their community or simply to belong and feel safe. I am delighted that the county council will play its part in the wellbeing of people and communities across Devon.”

Details about the new funding arrangements and how to apply will be available on the council’s website shortly.

5 comments on “Cash boost for volunteers and communities in Devon to help themselves

  1. Margaret Manning says:

    We at Fremington Medical Centre started a “Wellbeing Club” which meets in the Church Hall every two to three months. It is gathering strength in getting word out and we would like to have more support for increasing the numbers of people who come along.We make interesting afternoons and have included food/drink awareness/fire risks/exercise/talks from nurses & doctors including questions and answers. Mobility can be a problem for getting those who probably would get the most from being back in the community and some help with some funding would be amazing for us. Our group of personnel are trying so hard to make the sessions informative as well as engaging in chat, it would be great if you could contact Melanie Cullen there to find out more about future plans.

  2. Lisa Hebbard says:

    When will website show funds available and how to apply?

  3. Trish Warren says:

    The ‘Doing What Matters’ fund seems to be a great new opportunity to enable communities and groups to provide much needed services and activities that fit so well with social prescribing that is being rolled out and I would be very interested to learn more about this.

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