Grassroots groups which help keep people living independently in their communities are being invited to apply for grants from a new Surrey County Council fund.
The Adult Social Care Supportive Communities Fund was launched this week to support local groups and networks which make a difference to the lives of residents who are isolated and encourage creative ideas for local projects to help communities thrive.
One-off grants of up to £1,500 will be awarded to projects which support carers, older people or those living with long-term health conditions or disabilities, including mental health problems.
Grants will be awarded to projects that strengthen community support and help people who are finding it harder to cope during the pandemic, in particular those who are lonely or do not have access to the internet.
Sinead Mooney, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “Communities are at the heart of everything Surrey County Council does, and are often a lifeline for many residents, some of whom are isolated, while for others a helping hand from their community enables them to continue living independently.
“I have seen so many fantastic community projects in Surrey and know how much our residents value them. I would like to encourage any community groups, registered charities and not-for-profit organisations to find out if they are eligible to apply for a grant.”
Examples of community-led initiatives include the accreditation of Oxted as a Dementia Friendly community and the Epsom and Ewell Veterans Community Hub which helps tackle loneliness and isolation. Covid-19 has caused many face-to-face community initiatives to suspend, but offers an opportunity for organisations to think innovatively about how to support residents virtually. Examples include Surrey Coalition’s Tech to Community Connect Project and third sector organisations running a range of activities and support sessions to improve residents’ mental health on the Surrey Virtual Wellbeing Hub.
Those who may be eligible have until Friday 23 October to apply for a grant and can find out more about the Supportive Communities Fund at surreyinformationpoint.org.uk.