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Wealden District Council is supporting more than 50 local organisations through its community grants scheme this year.—Wealden Council, 9 April 2018

Awards totalling £20,000 in Small Grants for short term projects and £50,000 in Capital Grants to support buildings and facilities

Wealden grants are helping community organisations like Rotherfield St Martin, the Uckfield Housebound Club, Wealden Talking News, the East Sussex Association of Blind and Partially-Sighted People and Crowborough Darby and Joan, as well as local sports clubs, scout troops, drama groups and outdoor enthusiasts.

They are being helped through awards totalling £20,000 in Small Grants for short term projects and £50,000 in Capital Grants to support buildings and facilities.

“Since 2006, over £4.8 million has been allocated via the Wealden grants programme, benefiting residents throughout the District. Over £1 million has been awarded to 375 small and capital projects ranging from village hall, sports pavilion and recreational space improvements to lunch clubs, arts festivals, and activities for the disabled and young people,” said Councillor Claire Dowling, Cabinet member for Public Health and Community Safety.

“The lion’s share of Wealden’s community grants are distributed through Service Level Agreements, which support a wide range of vital services such as debt advice, community transport, protecting the environment, and volunteering. This £3.8 million, distributed to 43 organisations in the past ten years, has created employment opportunities, supported volunteers and ensured these organisations have the wherewithal to carry on their important work. These local organisations are the best placed to deliver care and support.”

Among those benefitting from this year’s Wealden Small Grants include 2nd Hailsham Scouts who have received money for camping equipment, a Wealden-wide community basketball initiative, a community play in Mayfield, and Wealden Talking News who are receiving money to help buy equipment for blind and partially-sighted service users.

Community centres, spaces and sports clubs have been the chief beneficiaries of the Wealden Capital Grants. They include Groombridge Tennis Club, Horam Village Hall, Ninfield Bowls Club and Rotherfield Scout Hut. Projects include a portable stage which will be shared by groups in East Hoathly, toilet refurbishments, kitchen improvements, new windows and insulation.

The Council has also approved £201,000 worth of Three Year Service Level Agreements this year including annual grants of £15,000 to 3VA, the local Council for Voluntary Services, which provides support for voluntary and community organisations across the District and £7,000 for People Matter to provide employment support, training and coaching for long term unemployed and vulnerable people in Uckfield, Heathfield and Hailsham.

Wealden Citizens Advice receives an annual grant of £165,000 for essential advice services across the District, and at its offices in Crowborough, Hailsham and Uckfield.

“Thanks to direct assistance by our Partnership & Funding Support Officer, voluntary organisations, societies and charities have also been able to successfully apply for over £1.9 million of funding from external organisations such as the lottery and Sussex Community Foundation since 2010,” added Councillor Dowling.

Full details of all this year’s Wealden Community Grants can be found on the Community grants pages of the Wealden website.