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Winchester district’s communities benefitted from £698,000 grant funding last year

Youth counselling sessions, providing social activities for adults with learning difficulties, support for citizens advice and outdoor theatre performances, walking football and homelessness support are just some of the initiatives and activities that Winchester City Council’s grant scheme supported last year.

109 grants were provided to voluntary and not-for-profit organisations, totalling £698,753 of support to help them deliver services and activities that benefit local communities.

It funded 2,500 counselling sessions for 177 young people with Winchester Youth Counselling and 252 Walk and Talk sessions with Winchester GoLD that helped adults with learning disabilities engage in social activity.

Funding also helped Citizens Advice Winchester to support over 5,300 clients with 16,602 advice issues, and enabled Play to the Crowd to welcome over 116,000 people to performances at the Theatre Royale and yearly Hat Fair.

Green community initiatives also saw a boost – with projects including new solar panels at Itchen Abbas and Avington Village Hall and LED lighting for equine therapy charity Broadlands RDA.

Other benefits have included helping to prevent 80 people from having to sleep rough and helping 350 people to stay active through community-led activities such as walking football.

Grants to organisations such as Swanmore and The Worthys Community Shed helped boost community activities for older people, and funding for Winchester Street Reach helped create a better space for the district’s vulnerable young people

Speaking about the grants, Cabinet Member for Community and Engagement Cllr Kathleen Becker said:

“We are so fortunate to have some wonderful community and voluntary groups across Winchester district – their support in many cases can be life-changing. We’re so pleased to be able to support their fantastic work through our grant schemes, these groups really do make a difference to our community and people’s lives.”

A spokesperson for Citizens Advice Winchester said:

“We’re enormously grateful to receive a Strategic Fund grant from WCC. This funding is crucial to the survival of our core advice service in Winchester District, and gives us the stability we need to seek additional funding to expand and develop the range of services that we can provide.“

A spokesperson for Winchester Street Reach said:

“The Winchester City Council small grant enabled Street Reach to purchase some modular furniture to provide a welcoming space to deliver various projects for vulnerable young people in Winchester.

“The charity moved to Unit 12 in October 2022 to an unfurnished space and the grant was used to make the space more young people friendly, with some of our service users even helping to put the furniture together with our staff team and decorating the space.”

Not-for-profit organisations looking to apply for grants from the council can find out more information on www.winchester.gov.uk/grants-for-not-for-profit-organisations

The community grants team offers help and advice on submitting a grant application and can be contacted by email to grants@winchester.gov.uk

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