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Community groups plan collaborative bids for share of £30m funding

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Community Action Suffolk (CAS) has brought together over 40 representatives from voluntary and community organisations across Suffolk, to explore how the county can benefit from a new £30m fund from the Big Lottery.

The event, held at the Castle Hill Community Centre, Ipswich on Wednesday 29 July 2015, discussed the new Help Through Crisis fund. This fund aims to improve the futures of people currently living in, or at risk of, crisis as a result of hardship, focused on supporting people to overcome barriers to access the services they need.

Grants of between £300,000 and £500,000 over five years will be available, to provide immediate support such as food parcels or a bed for the night. Projects will then work to address the underlying causes through advocacy and advice on issues such as family breakdown, health problems, homelessness or debt.

Jo Whiting, Senior Development Officer for Rural & Communities Issues at CAS, explained why it was important for CAS to bring together organisations from across the county,

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“The Help Through Crisis fund was recently launched and CAS felt it was important to facilitate the opportunity for organisations from around Suffolk to meet one another and network as the application deadline is 26 August 2015.

Projects must be collaborative and partnership based, rooted in the community and focused on supporting people who find it difficult to access mainstream support, perhaps because they are disabled, have a mental health or learning disability issue or live in an isolated rural community. We’re delighted to see so many local organisations attend, all prepared to explore partnership working.”

Naomi Marek, Chief Executive of Sky Badger, said,

“the links and contacts I’ve made here [today], they’re going to help us go forward for the next 10 years, we’ve made connections that we didn’t know were there. We’re not overlapping with others, we’re complimenting each other, so I’m really excited.”

Drena Black from Waveney Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum, said,

“This morning was a really positive event. We’ve always been particularly able to look for gaps in service and where we feel people are falling between the cracks. We’ve found other people here today who are saying the same, so we can now ask ourselves ‘what can we do together to put this right?’ and [from today] so many people have said that they’d be happy to work together.”

The event has now identified potential lead organisations and  partnerships which, with the support of Community Action Suffolk, can now work together and develop applications to the Help Through Crisis fund.

Expressions of interest

Following the meeting on 29 July 2015, organisations were asked to submit Expressions of Interest to lead on a partnership bid, or being part of a bid. These will be added below as we receive them:

We are interested in leading a partnership bid

We are interested in being part of a partnership bid