20 January 2023
CAMBRIDGE City Council set out plans yesterday (19 January) to award £1,094,000 to 60 voluntary, community and not-for-profit organisations to support projects that will reduce social or economic inequality for Cambridge residents during 2023-2024.
This could be through projects to improve health and wellbeing; to help communities come together and bring about change; to give more people better opportunities to gain employment; or to strengthen and grow the voluntary sector in the city.
All proposed funding is subject to approval of the council’s budget at a meeting of Full Council on 23 February 2023.
Of the £1,094,000, £70,000 is allocated as Area Committee Community Grants to fund projects in one of the city’s four areas: North, East, South or West Central.
The funding awarded by the council will only cover a portion of the 60 groups’ activities, which are expected to cost £4,875,273 in total. Groups will secure the remaining £3,132,438 from other sources, with the majority of activities further supported with additional, unquantified contributions, such as volunteer time.
Examples of successful applicants include:
As in previous years, a large portion of the funding is set to be awarded to Cambridge and District Citizens Advice (£313,930) to support their free debt and money advice service, as well as funding a full time specialist welfare rights caseworker; and to Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service (£88,166) to support local community and voluntary groups.
For 2023-2024 a simpler ‘small grants’ application process was trialled, for applications up to £2,000, leading to an increase this year in the number of applications received for sums of £2,000 or under, with a significant number of applications from groups that have not previously applied for Community Grants.
Cllr Mairéad Healy, Executive Councillor for Equalities, Anti-Poverty and Wellbeing, said: “We are very proud of our community grants programme – one of the most generous of its kind nationally for a local authority of our size – and reaffirm our commitment to funding our community and voluntary sector, which are supporting some of our most vulnerable residents across the city during these difficult times.
“We’d like to pay tribute to all the groups that are doing this vital work and have been awarded funding – we know in many cases this support is life changing for our residents.”
View a full list of applicants and the amount of funding awarded in the report discussed at the council’s Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee, 19 January.