Friday, 16 November 2018

Community groups and charities bid for public funding of £350,000

CHARITIES and community groups in the Henley area are bidding for grants totalling more than £350,000 from South Oxfordshire District Council.

The Chiltern Centre for disabled children and younger people has applied for £100,000, the Nomad youth and community project for £80,000, the Riverside Counselling Service for £65,000 and Henley Rowing Club for £94,000.

The Friendship in Sickness and Health Volunteer Centre in Sonning Common has asked for £12,000.

The applications were due to be considered by the district council’s community grants panel last night (Thursday) before a final decision on approval is taken by the cabinet later this year.

Any money that is approved will be spread over four years from April 1.

Nomad, which is based at the d:two centre in Upper Market Place, Henley, wants help to cover the cost of its core services.

This includes delivering targeted activities and programmes for disadvantaged families and young people. In its application, Nomad says it will continue working with schools and will try to expand in order to engage with more young people.

It said: “We will look to develop the mentoring programme into further primary schools in Henley, as the need arises, and overall would look for positive outcomes in the area of school attendance, achievement and a drop in the number of negative incidents recorded against each student.”

Nomad also wants to sustain its after-school programme, develop its family support programmes so they are available to more families and grow the subject matter for its workshops.

It aims to develop a programme of “inspirational” residential trips designed to raise youngsters’ self-confidence, independence and aspirations. The application says: “In the period 2017 to 2021 we aim to build on the existing work and increase the number of young people we reach. This is a very vulnerable group who easily slip through the net.

“Grant funding from South Oxfordshire District Council and the Community Safety Partnership has contributed greatly to our sustainability over the years.

“We do not take that funding for granted but equally we do not underestimate the challenge to replace it.

“Supporting and encouraging children, young people and families, whose life experiences often conspire against them, to thrive is a singular aim.”

The Chiltern Centre, off Greys Road, also wants help with funding its core services, which include short-break respite care, day services and after-school and weekend services, including specialist nursing care.

The Riverside Counselling Service says its grant would enable it to continue working in Henley and Wallingford and to expand into Didcot and Berinsfield. Fish wants to employ an office manager for its volunteer centre, which offers a range of support services and a community transport scheme for residents in Sonning Common and the surrounding villages.

Council officers have recommended that the charities receive the full amounts applied for.

However, they have given “low priority” to Henley Rowing Club’s bid for help with an outreach programme aimed at encouraging young people, NHS referrals, young mothers and older people to try rowing.

The council has received a total of 22 applications from across the district and officers are recommending awarding grants totalling £1,062,703.

Each organisation that is given money will have to sign a legal agreement that will include annual monitoring targets and the submission of accounts each year.

The council accepts applications for a minimum four-year grant of £10,000 and a maximum grant of £100,000.

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