The cross-party Grants Strategy Working party met in December 2014 to receive presentations from bidders and have made a series of recommendations to hand out grants totally nearly £625,000. The recommendations will be discussed at Cabinet next week (20th January) and Full Council on 26th February.
The news comes as the cabinet released its draft budget proposals for 2015/16 earlier this week and despite the council facing a funding gap of £12.4m due to a 28% cut in central Government funding.
The list of successful bidders is:
· HARP & Southend Vineyard – to provide homeless support
· CAB & Royal Association of Deaf (RAD) – to provide good quality, easily accessible & legally based advice and support services
· Southend United Community and Educational Trust & Trust Links - to provide positive opportunities for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people aged 16-25 years to get back into work
· Age Concern, SEEAFOP, BATIAS and Trinity Family Centre – to help over 60’s stay independent and active
· Southend Mencap and Trinity Family Centre – to provide opportunities for vulnerable and disadvantaged people aged 25 and over stay active in the community
· SOS Domestic Abuse Project – to provide community based support to those who are victims of domestic abuse and its effects
· SAVS – Two awards; one for their work which helps support and strengthen local charities, voluntary and community groups and one award to promote and encourage meaningful volunteering across the Borough.
It is also being recommended that additional awards are given to:
· Southend YMCA, Southend Vineyard and Trinity Family Centre - to provide opportunities for vulnerable and disadvantaged people aged 25 and over stay active in the community
· Southend United Community and Educational Trust - to help over 60’s stay independent and active
Cllr Ian Gilbert, Executive Cllr for Community Development, says: "Whilst councils up and down the country are cutting their support to community groups like this, this council is determined to continue supporting the community and voluntary sector where good cases for funding are put forward.
"It would be easy to look at the cuts we face and end this funding stream, but it would be foolish and counter-productive in my view. All of these groups deliver excellent services to the community, and by working with them and providing this funding we can actually reduce dependence on some council services whilst providing members of the community most in need with good voluntary led services and programmes.
"I am delighted to be recommending this to cabinet and full council and look forward to working with the organisations concerned."
Gary Turner, Service Operations Manager for HARP says: “We are delighted that we are being recommended for further council funding. If approved, we can look forward to continuing to provide a valuable service to those homeless, isolated, impoverished and in need in Southend, and working in partnership with the council to do that.”