Chance to bid for £300,000 of funding from West Suffolk councils

West Suffolk House (Council Offices) in Bury.

West Suffolk House (Council Offices) in Bury. - Credit: Archant

Community groups, charities and voluntary organisations in West Suffolk could benefit from over £300,000 of funding that is being made available.

Applications are being taken for its Community Chest fund. The funding is available to projects that can improve the lives of residents by helping communities to support themselves.

Initiatives to combat loneliness, provide support networks to parents, and befriending schemes designed to break down stereotypes and bring generations closer together, have all helped residents as a result of Community Chest funds awarded in recent years.

Since it was launched in 2015 it has also helped locally trained volunteers work with families before they reach crisis point and to help young people feel more a part of their local community.

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.

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“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.”

And 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.”

Applications are open from now until 5pm, Friday, September 28.

Decision on applications are due to be made by late December and successful bids will be paid in April 2019.

For more information or to apply for a Community Chest grant visit

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