Grants of £3million will improve life for vulnerable residents

Nearly £3m has been awarded to organisations in a bid to improve the lives of people in East Sussex.

East Sussex County Council and the NHS provided joint funding over three years for 21 organisations who applied for grants following the publication of the 2013 Commissioning Grants Prospectus.

This year there were 56 applications and local people, who use the services, helped to decide which organisations should be given funding based on the impact they would have on a community.

Grants were given to organisations who focussed on offering help and support to vulnerable children and their families, people with long term health conditions, people affected by stroke, people with learning disabilities and autism, people with mental health problems, carers, and supporting people to lead healthy lifestyles and supporting people at risk of significant harm from anti-social behaviour or targeted harassment.

Cllr Bill Bentley, Lead Member for Adult Social Care, said: “In these challenging times, it is vital that we all work to find solutions in the communities that know their clients best. It is important to make sure that these grants are targeted at improving the lives of vulnerable people in the county and are value for money.

“By focusing on the changes that can be achieved using these grants, we can encourage organisations to develop new responses to challenges, through local expertise and experience.”

Among the successful applicants were the Stroke Association which was awarded a three year grant to provide a service across the county to support stroke survivors and their carers.

Stay Up Late received three year funding for a project called Gig Buddies which enables people with learning disabilities to go to concerts and events with a volunteer ‘buddy’ who is someone who shares the same interests as they do.

Carers across the county will also be able to benefit from a free, volunteer respite and befriending service run by the Association of Carers, with a three year grant.

Unpaid carers will have the opportunity to take a regular break of around three hours, while their partner, relative or friend benefits from the company of a befriender.

Sue Palmer, Director of the Association of Carers, said “We are delighted to be able to offer this help to carers countywide. We have delivered this support to people in the Hastings area successfully and have seen the really positive impact this befriending and breaks support has on carers and their loved ones.”

A full list of grants and information about the Commissioning Grants Prospectus is avialable.

Most new activities, funded by these grants, will start from October 2013.


Further information

Notes for editors

The bid document was called the “Commissioning Grants Prospectus”. It was published in February 2013 and can be found on our at the website address above.

With investment of up to £3.7 million available, 56 applications were received for more than £9.1 million of funding. Just under half of the funding agreements will be for three years.

The Prospectus details the outcomes needed and the money that was available. The Council and the NHS will ‘purchase’ services through the grants (called commissioning). The Prospectus was developed jointly with clients, the people who actually use the services, their carers and voluntary and community organisations.

The Commissioning Grants Prospectus is part of our commitment to valuing voluntary organisations and acknowledges the contribution the sector makes to healthy, active, local communities, where people are supported to help each other.