Sutton Council’s Community Fund boosts local community groups

Nine voluntary community organisations in Sutton have been awarded a share of just under £58,000 from Sutton Council’s Community Fund.

They are:

  • Clockhouse Community Association (£6,500)
  • Community Drugs Service (CDS) South London (£10,000)
  • Gary Mason Rhythmical Empowerment Charitable Foundation (£5,000)
  • Jigsaw4U (£5,091)
  • Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen’s and Families Association (SSAFA) (£500)
  • Springboard Project (£6,450)
  • Sutton Centre for the Voluntary Sector (£8,459)
  • Sutton Seniors Forum (£6,077)
  • Sutton Women’s Centre (£9,812)

Funding to these projects is for a full year and they are expected to commence shortly after signed grant agreements have been returned by the successful organisations.

The Sutton Community Fund is an annual grants programme of £100,000 financed by Liberal Democrat-led Sutton Council.  Unlike many local authorities, the council recognises the enormous contribution made by the voluntary sector to its local community.

The Community Fund supports projects that benefit Sutton residents and which meet local priorities identified in the council’s corporate plan.  It is administered by the Sutton Centre for the Voluntary Sector but the grants are decided by an independent panel. Organisations are able to apply for up to £10,000 over two years. The fund helps them to deliver important local projects and to develop new services.

Cllr Simon Wales, Lib Dem Deputy Leader of Sutton Council and Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector, said:  “There is a strong voluntary sector in Sutton and this funding goes towards securing the future of a range of important local community organisations.  This supports them to deliver their invaluable work in our community.  

“As council budgets tighten even more, the voluntary sector has an increasingly significant role in supporting our communities. We’ll be working even more closely with them to deliver services, and the Community Fund will help them to prepare for this challenge.”

One of the nine organisations to receive funding from the council is Jigsaw4u, which works to support children and young people through bereavement, loss, trauma and abuse so that they can develop the tools to move forward in their lives. Jigsaw4u also works with children and young people with disabilities and does a lot of advocacy and participation work to ensure that young people have their voices heard. The funding is being used towards the employment of a part-time Disability Support Officer.

Michelle Mullarkey, Children with Disabilities Participation Co-ordinator at Jigsaw4U, said:

“We are really grateful for the invaluable support from Sutton Council as the funding for our part-time Disability Support Officer is enabling us to provide mentoring, befriending and travel training for young people with disabilities.

“Our Disability Support Officer has a disability himself and is a fantastic role model to the young people. Without the money we would have been unable to fund this additional role and the young people would have missed out on invaluable support.

Another charity to receive council funding through the Fund is the Community Drugs Service (CDS) South London, which provides one-to-one counselling for alcohol and other drug users and their family and friends. The grant will fund a Youth Outreach Worker who will engage with young substance misusers who are not currently receiving treatment due to complex needs.

Franco Toma, Managing Director of CDS South London, said:

“We are really grateful for the grant funding from Sutton Council as it enables us to work with young people who are substance misusers and provide them with support that they would otherwise not receive. Thanks to the funding we can also engage with other high-risk young people to inform them of the dangers of substance misuse.”

The nine recipients of the latest round of Sutton Council’s Community Fund Awards are:

Clockhouse Community Association which will receive £6,500 to improve the community centre to comply with health and safety requirements. The funding will be used to replace windows, and provide curtains, blinds, furniture and equipment.

Community Drugs Service for South London has been allocated the maximum grant of £10,000 to fund a Youth Outreach Worker who will engage with young substance misusers who are not currently receiving treatment due to complex needs. The programme will also engage with other high-risk young people to inform them of the dangers of substance misuse.

Gary Mason Rhythmical Empowerment Charitable Foundation will receive £5,000 to provide hand drumming therapy sessions for a wide range of participants from the borough. This project will deliver sessions at Oaks Way, on the border of Wallington South and Carshalton South.  It will build on the success of previous sessions delivered in Roundshaw and Carshalton. 

Jigsaw4u will receive £5,091 towards the employment of a part-time Disability Support Officer for Sutton’s Participation Project. The employee is a disabled young person who supports service users for 7 hours per week.

Springboard Project has been allocated £6,450 to support the delivery of the SMILE group which provides positive activities for disabled young people aged 12 to 18, enabling them to develop life skills by making choices, spending money, using transport and sharing experience. The activity will increase self-esteem, independence, confidence and social skills.

Sutton Centre for the Voluntary Sector will receive £9,520 to develop the Sutton Community Fund into a ‘Local Giving’ scheme – the aim of these schemes is to build a partnership between the voluntary, public and business sectors; encourage businesses and residents to become more involved with their community and support the most vulnerable; and increase donations (volunteering, support in-kind and money) to fund projects in priority areas of local need.

Sutton Seniors’ Forum will have £6,077 to support the continuation of the Connect Project, which provides Sunday teas for isolated, older residents. The Sunday tea will be fortnightly, for one year (26 sessions), commencing November 2015.

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen’s and Families Association (SSAFA) has been granted £500 for its work in providing lifelong support for the serving and former members of our Armed Forces and their families.

Sutton Women’s Centre is to receive £9,812 for a telephone counselling service to provide confidential domestic/sexual violence counselling. This service will be in addition to the already successful Domestic Violence Counselling service. The telephone counselling service aims to enhance the lives of women who are disabled, suffer agoraphobia, or are unable to leave home because of their personal circumstances. This project will offer a bespoke service that at present is beyond their reach.

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A group of young people, some with disabilities, enjoy a holiday in Littlehampton courtesy of the voluntary organisation Jigsaw4u, which works with bereaved children and young people to assist them to develop the tools they need to move forward with their lives.

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