Our Community Impact Fund was launched in October. It offers grants of up to £500 to community groups and organisations whose projects benefit our customers and their local communities.
The fund is aimed at supporting the work of tenant and resident groups, local charities, voluntary and community groups, and organisations who operate in our areas to develop projects that deliver outcomes that benefit our customers and the communities we work in.
Once applications have been received, they are reviewed by the Community Involvement and Investment Team and the relevant Locality Management Board. All eligible applications are then assessed by our Customer Panel.
Our Customer Panel held their first meeting at the end of November, and they have awarded funding to the following three projects.
Waste Not Want Not (WNWN) Fresh Start project
We have worked with WNWN in Chippenham for many years. They provide affordable furniture and essential goods free of charge under their Fresh Start programme to those who are fleeing domestic abuse or emerging out of homelessness. They also offer work experience and opportunities for those wishing to improve their situation, some of whom may be entering a workplace environment for the very first time after a challenging start in life.
WNWN have been granted £500 from our Community Impact Fund to cover volunteer out of pocket expenses, PPE and lunch allowances as part of their project.
Blackbird Leys Community Larder CIC Open for All project
This group were successful in receiving £500 to help them progress from just being a food organisation to becoming more of a social and wellbeing group.
Blackbird Leys Community Larder CIC have over 120 larder members. These members are telling them that they are struggling in terms of getting out and about.
This means the group would like to put things on for people to come out to. They are currently trialling a social Bingo evening, which has started very well. So far, feedback is very positive, especially from the local residents who don't normally get out. They want to do more as well as being able to offer a warm space for people.
The funding we have given them will be used for ongoing funds for refreshments, bingo tickets and a bingo machine.
Barton Community Association VIP Christmas Event
The Barton Community Association were successful in receiving £400 to go towards a Christmas meal for older residents on Saturday 17 December 2022.
The event was run by volunteers within the community with transport made available for those who have mobility issues. Guests had a seated Zumba session, a two-course meal, Christmas carols, bingo, a Santa visit and a goodie bag. The event helped to address loneliness and social isolation amongst older residents.
Our Head of New Initiatives Natalie Jones said: “It’s great for us to be able to support local community groups and organisations whose projects will benefit our customers and their local communities.
“We’re thrilled to be able to help these three very worthy projects and look forward to helping many more.
“We’re always keen to receive applications for the Community Impact Fund, and there is funding available for applications received between now and the end of March."
If you know of any local organisations or community groups in your area which you think could benefit from our Community Impact Fund please encourage them to apply by visiting our website.