Council cost of living grant provides £40,000 boost to district’s vulnerable communities
Organisations who have been supporting local communities through rising living costs have so far received over £40,000 in funding from Winchester City Council’s Cost of Living Grant.
The grant scheme opened in November last year, has now supported 11 organisations across the district, benefitting over 3800 residents who are most vulnerable to the impact of ongoing high living costs.
Wickham Community Association, Bishops Waltham Parish Council and Peter Symonds Sixth Form College are just some of the organisations to have received funding.
Among the projects that have been funded are a budgeting course, an after-school holiday club, a community pantry project targeted at disadvantaged students and a thermal imaging project that aims to improve the energy efficiency of people’s homes.
One of the organisations to benefit from the scheme is Winchester and District Young Carers - the Charity’s Manager, Lisa Wheadon, said:
"The grant gives us confidence that we can continue to ensure young carers are able to attend our activities when they are referred to us, through enabling us to continue to support and expand our volunteers.”
"With the funding, we are ensuring that our existing volunteers are not out-of-pocket due to the increasing cost of petrol, as we don’t want to lose any of our existing volunteers due to the cost-of-living increases.”
“We also intend to recruit additional volunteer drivers for the Winchester District area and offer reimbursement of petrol when needed for our term time and holiday activities that they take young carers to.”
Deputy Leader of Winchester City Council and Cabinet Member for Community and Housing, Councillor Paula Ferguson, said:
“I’m really pleased that our Cost of Living Grant scheme has been able to provide funding to those groups best placed to give a helping hand, whether that’s been through encouraging social interaction, providing a space to keep warm, or improving access to support and advice”
“Winchester’s residents are still facing difficult challenges because of heightened living costs, but it’s heartening to see the support that’s coming from some of the wonderful organisations across our district.
The Cost of Living Grant scheme is set to re-open for community organisations in May – details are available at www.winchester.gov.uk/cost-of-living-grant
Community organisations will be able to apply to support projects that align with 5 themes:
- Increasing access to information, support and guidance
- Providing information and support to reduce costs
- Increasing social interactions to help reduce anxiety and improve social inclusion in warm spaces
- Overcoming barriers to accessing services such as transport / IT equipment or access to the internet
- Helping to access essentials such as food or clothing