A variety of funding is available from West Sussex County Council for communities and organisations – and there is currently a shortage of applications for it.
The funding takes the form of small grants, Community Initiative funding and the Members’ Big Society Fund – all of which require the ability to show a clear contribution to the Five Ways to Wellbeing as a priority for funding.
The Five Ways consist of connecting (putting aside a few minutes to find out how someone is); being active (taking regular physical exercise); taking notice (being aware of what is happening around you); continuing to learn and setting yourself goals; and giving time and resource to help others.
Eligibility for Community Initiative funding also requires that projects reach new people or encourage community growth and self-reliance, while that for Members’ Big Society funding requires that priority be given to supporting independence, reducing social isolation, and strengthening the ability of communities to support each other.
The decision to award funding lies with the cabinet member for Safer, Stronger Communities (small grants), County Local Committees (Community Initiative Fund) and the Cabinet Meeting for Finance and Resources (Members’ Big Society Fund).
Your county councillor will be asked for a view on your application in respect of small grants. They will be a member of the County Local Committees which decides to award Community Initiative funding, and must provide a written supporting statement for a bid for Members’ Big Society funding.
Councillors are usually present at Neighbourhood Panel meetings and it was disappointing to note that the attendance at the Selden Neighbourhood Panel on October 16 was as low as six.
Without the support and attendance of the local community, there is little likelihood that problems will be addressed and we risk losing the resource provided by the Neighbourhood Panels altogether.