A total of 22 community groups from across Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees have become the latest beneficiaries of Locala’s Community Fund – supporting work with hundreds of people to the tune of more than £28,000.
The Fund’s beneficiaries include a Down Syndrome Training and Support Service, a “Baby Bank” supporting vulnerable new parents, a Wheelchair Tag Rugby club, a support group working with the elderly and isolated, and a charity providing hot meals for the homeless.
Locala provides NHS community health services in the three areas of West Yorkshire and as a not-for-profit, social enterprise, it invests any surplus back into services or community projects.
The Community Fund is one way of doing this – community groups can apply for a share of the money available and the final decision on which groups are supported is taken by a group of Locala Members – made up of both Locala colleagues and people from the local community.
After such a difficult year for many community and charity groups, the Locala Members Council agreed to increase the amount of funding available to groups, for the second consecutive year, from the usual amount of £10,000 up to £28,257.46 which will support the 22 groups.
Diane McKerracher, Chair of Locala’s Board, said: “We’re delighted to be able to extend the amount of support we could offer to community project through the Community Fund this year. The response to the call-out for applications was fantastic and with so many great projects we wanted to offer help to as many as we could.
“We know that Covid-19 has posed a great challenge to many organisations offering support to local communities and its wonderful that through our social enterprise status, we are able to support these groups to continue to provide such valuable support to people in our local areas.
“As part of our commitment as a social enterprise to supporting the development of our local communities we have donated over £75,000 in the past seven years through the Community Fund and we look forward to welcoming many more applications later this year when the next round of funding opens.”
This year the projects supported were:
Baby Bank Bradford - Bradford
The Bradford Baby Bank was set up to support vulnerable new parents with essential baby items. Due to the increased demand they are collecting and sending out donations daily and the Community Fund grant will enable them to continue to do so.
Fairfield School - Batley
Fairfield is a special school for children and young people aged 3 to 19 years. The school are developing a sensory garden for all the children, most of whom are wheelchair users or have multi-sensory impairments. The funding will go towards a new timber bench to sit around a tree, to increase their sensory learning while at school.
Halifax Wheelchair Tag Rugby FC - Halifax
The club provides opportunities for people in Calderdale to participate in Tag Rugby League and other activities. The group have developed a programme to inspire disabled and non-disabled leaders/coachers. The funding will go towards transport and qualified instructors.
PRISM Youth Project - Bradford
The project works with young people ages 12-21 in the Bradford District. They offer evening and half term clubs to engage young people in the local community engagement. The funding will go towards two laptops to support with job applications and employment courses.
Sorted Church - Bradford
Sorted Church empower young people to fulfil their learning potential, to discover the value in their own lives and be part of the community around them. Funding will allow the group to put together and send out wellbeing packs to their young people they support, which will include food and other essential items as well as allowing them to purchase resources, to support their session delivery.
Down Syndrome Training and Support Service - Bradford
The group provide support, advice and training to parents, carers and professionals of young people with down syndrome. Funding will go towards an online dance class for young people with down syndrome to access online, in order to reduce social isolation and to develop a love of exercise in a fun and inclusive environment.
Sticky Fingers Pre-School and Out of Schools Club - Halifax
Sticky Fingers are Halifax based not-for-profit childcare establishment and the funds will go towards offering children with special educational needs free holiday play sessions, allowing the children to socialise and offering some respite to parents.
Memory Tree CIC - Bradford
Memory Tree CIC are a Bradford based group, providing dementia support to the local community. They usually hold monthly meetings for those with dementia and their carers. However, during the last year they have diversified their offering and now provide regular telephone support, a home delivery and home visit service, access to online support and recreational groups and have developed a resource library of specialist jigsaws and games, magazines, books and other resources. Funding will allow them to purchase more materials for their resource library, as well as new and interesting equipment for when their face to face sessions resume.
Unique Ways - Halifax
Unique Ways are a Halifax based group who support parents and carers of young people with disabilities and additional needs. Due to Covid-19, they have recognised that a lot of support now needs to be available online, and the funding will go towards expanding the resources available on their website.
Disability Support Calderdale CIC - Calderdale
Disability Support Calderdale are run by and for disabled people and offer support with benefit and housing issues. During the last year, they have seen demand for their services increase and they are supporting more isolated and vulnerable people. The funding will allow them to recruit and train additional volunteers, allowing them to support more people in more specialised ways.
Young at Heart - Batley
Young at Heart are a Batley based support group, who work with the elderly and isolated within Kirklees. They usually hold weekly meetings to allow people to socialise, make new friends and learn new skills. The meetings have been suspended during the last year, but they have continued to support their members by offering telephone check-in and chat calls, with craft packs and fruit baskets to ensure their members stay socially connected. They have experienced an increase in demand and will use the funding the set up a second weekly group when they are able.
Batley Community Outreach Centre - Batley
The group provide weekly activities to give local people who are isolated and lonely the opportunity to connect with community life and meet new friends over a meal. During the last year, they have been providing free meals and food parcels to those in need in their community and the funding will be used to ensure they are able to continue offering this service.
Calder Community Cares – Calderdale
Calder Community Cares have been established in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and they provide support to people in Calderdale with a range of needs. They provide a dedicated volunteer to each person they support, who offers regular check-ins, help with food shopping and will empower people to stay connected within their community. Funding will be used to allow them to continue their support.
Dewsbury Memories - Dewsbury
Dewsbury Memories have created a network of sporting and social reminiscence groups, based in sports clubs for sufferers of memory loss illnesses and those who are socially isolated. Due to Covid-19, they have been holding their sessions online and funding will be used for additional IT support to ensure their members are able to stay digitally connected.
Our Neighbourhood Nest - Dewsbury
Our Neighbourhood Nest are a community group, based on the site of Overthorpe Primary Academy in Dewsbury. Since April 2020, they have been supporting vulnerable families with hot meals and food parcels and the funding will cover food costs to allow them to continue their hot meals project.
Bread of Life Drop in Centre – Huddersfield
The Bread of Life drop in centre in based at St John’s Church in Birkby, Huddersfield. They run a relief centre from the church, providing food parcels and other necessities, hot meals and a safe space for service users to come together and access support services to help them with a range of needs. The funding will go towards food costs, to enable them to continue to deliver their food parcels and hot meals.
Purpose of Life - Batley
Purpose of Life are a Batley based charity, working with homeless people by providing hot meals and running a food bank. Funding will support their food parcels.
Wrose Dementia Friendly Community Support Group - Bradford
The group work to increase awareness and understanding of dementia and the difficulties faced by those living with dementia and their carers. Due to Covid-19, they have had to suspend their face-to-face sessions but have continued to offer telephone support. The funds will allow them to purchase new materials, games and equipment for when their face to face sessions are able to resume.
Better Eat Food Service CIC - Bradford
Based in Bradford, Better Eat Food Service provide hot meals to those in sheltered living and housing complexes. The funding supported them to make and deliver a Christmas dinner to 150 people in their local communities.
Covid-19 Help and Support Group – Birstall
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the group have been running a food share for local families in the Birstall area. Funding will help them to continue to provide this service on a weekly basis.
BBEST Community Hub – Batley
The Hub is a collaboration of 22 local schools in the Batley area, working with Health Services, Social Services and local community groups to bring support into the area for our families. They signpost people in our community and families from local schools to support services and provide support to approximately 8000 children. Funding will go towards purchasing planters which they will donate schools’ shops and community centres, giving people the opportunity to plant and grow flowers, fruits and vegetables.
Primetime at the Vine – Bradford
Primetime at the Vine are a Bradford based support group, who provide services to people of all ages but primarily work with children, disenfranchised young people and the elderly. Their community centre has recently been renovated and the community fund grant will allow them to purchase new chairs to replace ones that are old and broken.