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Colchester Borough Council awards £230,000 to community groups

Date issued: 12 January 2018

After careful consideration of all the applications received, Colchester Borough Council has chosen eight community organisations to receive a share of its £230,000 Voluntary Welfare Grant for 2018/19.

This funding is committed to supporting key voluntary and community projects. It also helps to protect services that complement the Council's strategic aims. 

From July to September 2017, the scheme was open to applications from groups across Colchester which make a difference to local people's lives. To be eligible, organisations had to either increase volunteering, help people build skills for life or work, prevent loneliness, support people to take action in their communities, or help vulnerable people to improve their lives. Entries were made via a competitive process, with applicants completing an entry submission in order to be considered.

Over £500,000 worth of requests were made to the fund before applications closed on 29 September and the decision process began. At a funding panel meeting in October, it was agreed that the 2018/19 fund would be split between Age Concern Colchester (£11,450), Beacon House (£13,000), Citizens Advice Colchester (£50,000), Colchester Furniture Project (£15,000), Colchester Emergency Nightshelter (£20,200), Colchester and Tendring Women's Refuge (£50,000) and the Youth Enquiry Service (£30,350).

A further £40,000 was allocated to local volunteering organisation Community360, which will be used to support more local groups in achieving their goals. Community360 is also mentoring the awarded groups to support them in reaching the targets and outcomes that they pledged to during the application process.

Cllr Tina Bourne, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said: "The standard of applications for 2018/19 was extremely high and the final choice of recipients was a difficult decision to make.

"The Voluntary Welfare Grant is an opportunity for the Council to demonstrate Colchester's appreciation for the efforts of community groups whose important work often goes on quietly without recognition.

"This funding is well-deserved by all of the groups who have been awarded and I look forward to seeing them putting it to good use."

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