Cheering our volunteers

Whilst the council invests millions every year building facilities like schools, leisure centres, roads and care homes, we also recognise the value of smaller, community led facilities. That’s why we run schemes to provide financial support to boost these important local services.  

Voluntary, community and not-for-profit groups can apply for our Community Asset Grant of up to £25,000 to improve or provide new community facilities. 44 projects have been supported for a range of projects including refurbishing a cricket clubhouse, new children’s play area, church solar panels and wheelchair accessible minibuses.

Ward councillors also have £2,000 that they can allocate to local projects that demonstrate a community benefit. Councillors can also work together across a ward to combine their grants if that’s what is most needed. These grants have been used to pay for new camping equipment for scout groups, podcast equipment for a youth group, picnic benches for a memorial hall, polytunnels for a community garden and much more.

Whether it’s a cultural, environmental, sporting, or social project, large or small we want to help you.

Supporting local community-based groups is incredibly important to making Central Bedfordshire a great place to live. These groups are often run by volunteers who, as was evident in the pandemic, can be the backbone of our communities.

Earlier this month it was Volunteer Week; throughout the week we celebrated our local heroes and the week culminated in a special Cheering Volunteering event where we thanked these amazing individuals and groups for the excellent support they have provided to our communities.

Over 150 volunteers joined us for afternoon tea at the Rufus Centre in Flitwick. The event included stalls and wellbeing sessions to provide volunteers with treats and advice. It seemed a very fitting way of saying thank you for all their time and commitment they give to help others.

Applications for Community Asset Grants are open until 25 July 2022 at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/grant-scheme

2 thoughts on “Cheering our volunteers

  1. Despite the fact that we volunteers produce a monthly community newsletter Biggleswade Community News which produces 1300 paper copies each month and is addressed and delivered to 730 Clients and volunteers of the Querns Award winning Biggleswade Good Neighbours project, your council is unableoruneilling to jelp fund such non vapital projects.

    Despite three requests we are unable to obtain any funding from Central Brdfordshire Council, because you only provide grants for 1 off capital projects.

    From August 2020 we have bern reproducing important council, government and nhs data every month.

    We reach those hard to reach people that the statutory sector find it very hard to do. Monthly so that information is timely and up to date.

    Increasingly our predominently Facebook. orientated community are building their own community networks. Council services can now often only be accessed om line. Even ordering food waste bags now has to be done on line.

    Yet your own Adults Care Servicrs 2021 client survey showed that around 50% of their clients do not or do not want to access the internet. Some cannot even afford to.

    We who run older persons clubs are fully aware of how significant a portion of our community do not spend their time accessing Facebook or visiting websites. But when a community can build something as valuable as a monthy newsletter reaching around 2000 households when allowing for emailed sharing and on linr subscribers, it is frustrating that our own council cannot even engagei in a dialogue of how such avaluable community service can be financially supported.

    Projects such as ours do not need capital funding. We gladly give our time and often our money for free because we believe in our communities and its wellbeing.

    CBC often gives capital grants to organisations with significant reserves of their own. Please consider projects such as ours. and permit ward councillor funding to be less rigid and at least to be able to consider grant applications fot projects such ss ours. At the end of the day ward councillors and local communities are best placed to know about what local communities want and need. Especially in such an increasingly fast growing area as Central Bedfordshire. Information and nees is key to becoming integrated in the new community you have moved to.

    Local communities are best able to share information with the hard to reach as we do, in an even more constructive and cost effective way than councils, the nhs or government.

    Please reconsider your ward councillor grant criteria eligibility and consider also providing non capital grants at leadt through the ward councillor grant scheme.

    Or leave it to your local councillors to decide ehat to offer fundibg to locally for whatever reason, capital or revenue.

    Thank you

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  2. Hi Shirley, our Executive approved the grant schemes to ensure local groups could access funding to purchase kit and equipment or improve local community assets and infrastructure. The schemes have performed very well, with CAG receiving applications for double the amount we had available last year, we are running another bidding round this year to meet the demand.
    We do provide community grants to 3 Citizens Advice organisations and Advice Central, who support vulnerable clients with their advice needs but also Beds RCC and CVS who support local communities and organisations to access funding sources. Jane Owen at CVS will be able to help you identify alternative funding sources and she can be contacted at jane@cvsbeds.org.uk
    I also note that Biggleswade Town Council have recently launched a community grant scheme and may well be able to support Biggleswade News
    If you need new equipment to produce your newsletter, please do apply to the ward cllr grant scheme, Cllr Watkins, Cllr Whitaker, Cllr Bond and Cllr Foster have funds available for 22/23. Thanks, Richard.

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