£11.7 million funding boost to help vulnerable people

CabBillBentley (Small)ORGANISATIONS which help some of the most vulnerable people in East Sussex could benefit from up to £11.7 million of funding over the next three years.

Money available from East Sussex County Council and the local NHS is detailed in the newly-published Commissioning Grants Prospectus.

Last year, the prospectus awarded almost £3 million to voluntary and community groups which work to improve people’s lives and strengthen communities.

Groups which could benefit this year include those which help vulnerable young people, carers, people with illness and disabilities and older people, and those which promote healthy living.

Cllr Bill Bentley, county council lead member for adult social care, said: “In these difficult economic times, groups which help some of our most vulnerable residents need new, innovative options to support them.

“The funding provided through the prospectus has allowed services to be provided which make a real difference to people’s lives, so we’d encourage anyone who thinks their group might benefit to get their application in.”

The prospectus approach to funding, now in its fourth year, has been devised with input from people who use the services, who play a key role in deciding which applications receive funding.

Amanda Philpott, joint chief officer for Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford and Hastings and Rother clinical commissioning groups, said: “The real strength of this way of providing funding is the involvement of the people who will benefit from the services.

“The prospectus is aimed at strengthening communities by promoting good health, including addressing health inequalities, and improving the situation of people with care and support needs.”

Schemes which received funding last year included grants for a project supporting stroke survivors, a free volunteer respite and befriending service for carers and an innovative scheme enabling people with learning disabilities to attend concerts with a ‘gig buddy’.

The deadline for applications for grants is Friday, April 25 2014. Awards will be announced in July with new services starting from October 2014.

Full details can be found, and applications made online at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/cgp