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Applications now open for councils' Community Chest funding

West Suffolk House. (3495616)
West Suffolk House. (3495616)

Applications are now open for the West Suffolk councils’ Community Chest funding, which will see more than £300,000 made available to various community projects.

The money will be granted to organisations which help to improve the lives of West Suffolk residents and bring members of the community together, with befriending schemes, initiatives to combat loneliness and parent networking groups among those to have benefitted from funding in the past.

Cllr Robert Everitt, cabinet member for families and communities at St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: "Many of these issues are things that we all recognise - teenagers that don't feel they belong, parents struggling with the daily challenges of raising children, loneliness and isolation and the perceptions that different generations may have of one another. All of them left unchecked, can have a damaging impact on the quality of life that people experience, so prevention is undoubtedly better than cure.

"Fortunately we know that many local charities and groups already have ideas to address these issues and so we would encourage them to come forward and bid for some of the Community Chest funding that is now available."

Since its launch in 2015, Community Chest has also helped to train local volunteers to work with families before they reach crisis point and to help young people feel more a part of their local community.

Cllr Robin Millar, Forest Heath District Council's cabinet member for families and communities said: "We know that loneliness has a huge impact on health and that parents sometimes feel isolated. We know that family crises can have a profound impact on children, echoing throughout their lives long into adulthood.

"Some of the answers to the biggest challenges that we face in society and in life, lie in strengthening families and empowering communities. They are also a great birthplace of ideas, inspired by people's own experiences and their passion to help others.

"Community Chest is about unlocking these instincts, working with local groups and charities and investing in our families and communities to make life that much better."

Applications are open until 5pm on Friday, September 28, with decisions due to be made by late December and successful bids paid in April 2019.

For more information and to apply, visit westsuffolk.gov.uk/community/community-grants.cfm

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