Community Impact Support Scheme funding awarded to Devon organisations

County HallCounty Hall

Posted on: 17 December 2015

Grants have been awarded to five organisations in Devon so far in the first round of funding through a new business support scheme.

The Community Impact Support Scheme (CISS) was launched earlier this year to provide funding ranging from £10,000 to £50,000 to community organisations, social enterprise and voluntary sector groups.

The scheme is being run by Devon County Council in partnership with district councils, and a number of key stakeholders are providing support, including Dartington School for Social Entrepreneurs, Devon Community Foundation, Devon Communities Together, Devon and Somerset Business Finance Network and Department for Work and Pensions.

CISS was introduced following changes to the Welfare Reform Act with the aim of supporting the long term employment prospects of unemployed people and those in work but dependent on benefits.

The organisations receiving grants, to date, are:

St Sidwells Centre – funding for its Community Employment Liaison and Enterprise Unit to help vulnerable people into employment in and around Exeter. Its Community Employment Liaison and Enterprise Unit will develop new money-making enterprises such as a micro-bakery, pizza restaurant, and T-shirt making.

Exeter Community Initiatives – funding its Skills for Employment pilot scheme which provides skills for unemployed people with caring responsibilities in and around Exeter.

Young Devon – funding its Foodwise project delivered in partnership with River Cottage, to help 30 young people, aged from 16-25, in the Teignbridge and South Hams area to become trainees to gain a level 1 qualification in catering and food preparation or customer service.

Freedom Community Alliance – its Freedom Salvage proposal will help people aged from 18-65 in Barnstaple, Ilfracombe and Bideford who are either long term unemployed, in recovery from drug and alcohol misuse or have a history of homelessness or offending. The project will recycle, re-use and refurbish donated items such as clothes, computers, furniture, tools, bicycles and other reusable items. These will be sold online or at auction.

The Trill Trust – funding for its Grow, Cook, Make, Mend project will help 12 people in East Devon and Exeter recovering from substance abuse, providing them with confidence boosting skills in cooking, horticulture and DIY. They will also work towards developing a social enterprise by making products on the farm to sell, as well as being supported by other providers to attain skills to increase chances of employment.
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “The first round of the CISS scheme was heavily oversubscribed, which made the selection process extremely difficult but the five projects selected so far will make a considerable difference to the vulnerable groups who will benefit from them. All of the schemes being supported through the scheme will boost the skills of those taking part to improve their chances of employment in future.”

In partnership with the school for social entrepreneurs at Dartington, the Devon Social Enterprise Programme will also launch a free learning programme in January to provide support to third sector organisations and social enterprises that are looking to develop and find new business opportunities. Applications need to be submitted by Sunday 10 January to or call 01803 847066.

A further round of CISS is expected to launch in February/March next year, subject to available funding. Details will be advertised widely in due course, including through the CISS webpage here.

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