West Suffolk councils’ fund gives £383,000 to local causes

West Suffolk House ENGANL00120130105142226
West Suffolk House ENGANL00120130105142226

A couples counselling service and a community transport scheme are among the latest organisations in Suffolk to benefit from a council fund.

The West Suffolk Community Chest is a fund used by St Edmundsbury Borough and Forest Heath District Councils to develop community services.

In 2016/17, the community chest’s first full year of funding, the councils have given £382,722 to 16 organisations.

These include Relate, which helps couples to withstand family pressures and helps to limit animosity in separations and divorces, and the Voluntary Network Community Transport Scheme, which helps people who cannot drive or easily access public transport to attend medical appointments and visit friends or relatives in nursing homes.

Cllr Robert Everitt, St Edmundsbury’s cabinet member for families and communities, said: “Whether it is access to mental health services, support for disadvantaged families or tackling rural isolation amongst the elderly, these are all very important projects and I am delighted that St Edmundsbury is able to support them in this way.”

Cllr Robin Millar, Forest Heath’s cabinet member for families and communities, added: “All of these will make a real difference and benefit people’s lives.”

The Suffolk West Citizens Advice Bureau got £182,000 in St Edmundsbury and £39,650 in Forest Heath, and Homestart, which helps families struggling emotionally and physically with parenthood, received a total of £26,500.

In St Edmundsbury, Gatehouse Caring received £5,000 towards its furniture store project and the Volunteer Network got £9,860 for its Befriending Scheme.

In Forest Heath, £8,200 went to charity Fresh Start, New Beginnings, which provides therapy for children who have disclosed sexual abuse, while Creative Arts East and Dance East received £3,000 and £3,500 respectively.

To find out more about Community Chest or to apply for funding for 2016/17, go to www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/community/community-grants/cfm