Grants available to support cost of living crisis

The Council’s Community Chest fund provides grants to voluntary and community groups, charities and public sector bodies that want to further improve quality of life locally.

At the Council’s Grants Advisory Committee meeting on Friday, October 28, councilors unanimously recommended that the Community Chest criteria be expanded to allow offers that include contributions for any project that has a positive impact on related communities. to the cost of living crisis. The change also means it will support ongoing costs, including staff, as well as one-time purchases as before. These changes have now been confirmed by the Senior Resource Cabinet Member.

Parish and town councils of all sizes can also now bid for Community Chest grants related to the cost of living crisis. Previously, parish and town councils were unable to bid for Community Chest funds, except those related to the creation of a community-led plan or biodiversity grants, unless they have less than 160 registered voters in their areas.

A total set aside of £20,000 has been made available for these new Community Chest grant applications linked to the cost of living crisis. This funding has been provided by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Integrated Care System, to ensure support is effectively coordinated and directed to those in need locally this winter.

It is expected that this new grant can be used for projects such as establishing or running lunch clubs to provide low-cost meals to people in need, or establishing or building the capacity of food centers. , food banks or community refrigerators. However, given the limited funds available, the program cannot be used to purchase food or subsidize the cost of food distributed.

The modified criteria for the Community Chest will be in place until April 2023.

Visit www.scambs.gov.uk/communitychest for details and to apply.

Chairman of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Grants Advisory Committee, Cllr Jose Hales, said: “The cost of living is having a significant impact on communities in South Cambridgeshire, and changing the criteria for our Community Chest grants is one way we can help provide real support to locals. We will review incoming applications for these new funds each month. I expect a quick turnaround so residents will see the benefits very quickly. Please apply for one of these grants if you are part of a local group or parish council and are looking to lead a project to support the district during these difficult financial times.

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Senior Resource Cabinet Member, Cllr John Williams, said: “We are very grateful to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Integrated Care System for providing us with the funding to make these grants possible. . We have declared a cost of living emergency and, following the recent establishment of the first Warm Hubs in South Cambridgeshire, these grants are the next step in our plan to support residents through the winter. As you’d expect, we want to do everything we can to help, so we’ll outline other ways we plan to provide support and assistance in the coming weeks.

Kit Connick, Director of Strategy and Partnerships for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Integrated Care System, said: “Following our support of Warm Hubs, we are delighted to reach even more people through the expansion of the Community Chest Fund. . In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, the Integrated Care System works together to focus help and advice where it is most needed, tailored to the different needs of our local communities. By working together, we can ensure that as the winter months approach, there are plenty of ways for anyone in need to access help and assistance.

In September, the Council declared a cost of living crisis. The changes to the Community Chest criteria are part of a series of measures being developed to help residents of South Cambridgeshire.

This includes setting up Warm Hubs throughout the district. Warm Hubs are completely free and provide a warm and welcoming environment for everyone. Some places will also offer hot drinks, activities and other services, such as free wi-fi. Funding for the centers has again been provided by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Integrated Care System and they are provided by Cambridgeshire ACRE – the charity dedicated to supporting and strengthening rural communities in Cambridgeshire. See www.scambs.gov.uk/warm-hubs for more information on the Warm Hubs now operational in South Cambridgeshire.

See www.scambs.gov.uk/cost-of-living-support for full advice on cost of living support available locally.

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