Local voluntary organisations and projects in the wards of Gainsborough (Ipswich), Haverhill South and Kirkley (Lowestoft) have collectively been given a £600,000 boost to help them improve the health and wellbeing of local people.
Community Action Suffolk (CAS) has secured this funding for three years and has been working closely with local residents, empowering them to develop priorities for investment in their communities. The funds come from the People’s Health Trust, with money raised by HealthIntend through The Health Lottery.
This “Local Conversations” programme means that local people will decide how the money gets spent in their area. In each ward, over the last 18 months, residents have volunteered and created a People’s Forum, which engages with the local community to decide how best to invest the funds.
As a result of these consultations, three new Local Conversations Community Grants have been created, allowing organisations and projects to apply for funding of upto £5,000. Each People’s Forum will assess the applications and award funding for projects in their area. Applications are now open, with the first round closing on 29 February 2016. Support from Community Action Suffolk is available.
Echoing the sentiments of all three wards, Angela Oakey-Jones from the Gainsborough People’s Forum, said:
“This is our opportunity to be collectively involved in identifying, designing and running activities and projects that will make Gainsborough an even better place for everyone. We are really excited that we can now begin to put our plans into operation. Local residents have identified the needs, we now have the means. We hope that as many people as possible from Gainsborough ward will benefit from this funding.”
Jo Whiting, Local Conversations Project Officer at CAS, said:
“Local people’s voices are very much at the heart of this project and their views are shaping the priorities for the area. There is a great sense of community spirit and local people are keen to make where they to live even better through the Local Conversations programme.”
For more information or to apply for a Local Conversations Community Grant, visit www.communityactionsuffolk.org.uk/localconversations or contact:
Local Conversations Project Officer