Money for 'lifeline' community groups, with more on the way

BACT Community Transport were awarded £1,000 from the community partnership small grants scheme.

BACT Community Transport were awarded £1,000 from the community partnership small grants scheme. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press

Lifeline community groups could be handed key funding boosts with the return of a scheme that has handed out more than £6,000 so far.

The Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth and Surrounding Villages Community Partnership will begin round two of their small grant scheme from May 10.

It comes as a total of £6,274 was handed out by the scheme to eight organisations in the first round, with £3,726 remaining in the budget.

Judy Cloke.

Judy Cloke. - Credit: East Suffolk Council

Councillor Judy Cloke, chair of the partnership, said: "The first round has proved popular, so we have decided to offer a new scheme at the start of the financial year.

"This is aimed at all local charities and organisations within our partnership area whose projects fit the criteria of tackling social isolation and loneliness, improving physical and mental health and wellbeing, or enabling people to live healthy lives.

"We hope the timing of this will assist groups and organisations who may be struggling to resume their services after lockdown eases.

"We especially welcome applications from smaller, more rural groups which can be a lifeline in our isolated communities." 

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BACT Community Transport were among those to receive the funding boost, with £1,000 to provide transport and a volunteer.

On Facebook, a spokesperson for the group, which has been helping people get to and from vaccination appointments, said: "We're very excited to announce we've been awarded a grant from East Suffolk Council to enable us to help people who are feeling lonely and isolated.

"As we begin to emerge from the pandemic over the next few months, we aim to connect people and help ease them back into everyday life.

"This will be aimed at anyone who feels they need some help to get out and socialise again, meet people, or take up a new hobby or interest.

"We are looking forward to being able to offer a 'meet, greet and treat' service and are thankful to East Suffolk Council for giving us this opportunity."

Other grants include £819 to the Brampton and Stoven Village Hall, £500 to the Falcon Meadow Community Trust, and £970 to the Lowestoft and Waveney Breastfeeding Support group.

The Fisher Theatre, in Bungay, was also awarded £985 to deliver weekly online drama workshops to young people.

Alongside BACT, further grants of £1,000 were awarded to Suffolk Family Carers and Waveney and Blyth Arts.