Causes and Clubs Eligible for Further Funding

A FUND being distributed across Suffolk to clubs and causes, is now to be extended by a further £245,000.

The county’s Community Restart initiative, which is managed by Community Action Suffolk, has already allocated some £332,507 and helped 226 groups get back up and running after Covid.

Organisations as diverse as toddler groups, cricket clubs, parent projects, wellbeing sessions and community transport, have been among the many recipients to be gifted up to £2,500 toward safety measures, post-pandemic adjustments, training or recruitment.

The latest £245,000 boost comes directly from the Collaborative Communities Covid-19 Board for Suffolk, which includes such bodies as Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk Association of Local Councils, Suffolk County Council, district councils, and Suffolk Community Foundation.

In addition to being able to apply for grants, organisations can also access Suffolk Community Restart for advice, training and peer support.

Among those to have recently received a grant is Riding for the Disabled (Woodbridge and District Group), which provides therapeutic riding, carriage driving and equine-centred activities for disabled adults and children in East Suffolk.

Secretary Kelvin Silburn said: “Our clients are among the most vulnerable in society and many require close physical support, so social distancing meant we had to fundamentally redesign our activities to make them Covid safe.

“Doing these things has been and continues to be essential to the future of the group and supporting our clients, but introduces additional costs during a period that has seen income decline sharply.”

On this basis, the group was awarded a grant of £1,830, allowing it to make Covid-related changes such as purchasing 20 additional riding hats.

Kelvin added: “As a voluntary organisation we rely entirely on the generosity of our supporters to continue our work.

“In addition to grants, much of our income comes from public fundraising events that were almost completely curtailed by Covid restrictions, so as restriction ease, we need to be able once again to rely on this income.”

Chris Abraham, CEO of Community Action Suffolk, said: “Suffolk Community Restart has been such a clear success in the county since its launch earlier this year, having already helped hundreds of ‘lifeline’ charities and clubs and venues get back in operation post-Covid.

“This latest fund boost is extremely welcome, and will ensure that money can be channelled by the various District Councils , towards many more organisations who are doing such good work in their communities.”

Chrissie Geeson, Head of Localities and Partnerships for Suffolk County Council, added: “The importance of our neighbourhood clubs, groups and voluntary sector initiatives in Suffolk is undeniable, so we are delighted that the funding has been extended in such a way that even projects will be helped.

“Not only do these groups provide opportunities for community wellbeing and friendship through their core service, but they widen the potential for people to volunteer and be part of something of great purpose and value here in Suffolk.”

Suffolk Community Restart has been made possible through a partnership process involving Suffolk County Council, the District Councils and Borough Councils.

Those keen to apply for grants of up to £2,500, or to find out about on-demand training and additional restart advice, can go to<> or email<>.

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