Seven Calderdale community groups have benefited from grants worth £600,000 in total from Calderdale Council – helping to boost volunteering, skills, health, wellbeing and access to jobs and cultural activities in the borough.
The Council awarded the funding in 2015 as part of its strategic grants scheme, and a new report highlights the amazing impacts in local communities over the last three years, including:
- Attracting over £3 million in additional match funding and creating 80 new jobs within voluntary organisations.
- Creating new volunteering opportunities and enabling an incredible 67,787 hours of volunteer time and over £7 million investment in community buildings.
- Enhancing talent through training.
The report is published on the Council’s website: Voluntary and Community Sector Strategic Grants Impact Report for 2015-18.
Cllr Daniel Sutherland, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Housing and Environment, said:
“We appreciate the important role that voluntary groups play in strengthening communities across Calderdale, so we help them to thrive through our grants and support services.
“We’re thrilled with the impacts of our 2015 – 2018 round of grants, which have helped some of our most vulnerable residents, supported Calderdale’s unique arts and culture scene and helped make our areas safe, welcoming and talented.”
The grants were awarded after a bidding process, and the successful applicants were:
- Barnardo’s – the funding helped to deliver the ‘Positive Identities’ project to create safer and stronger communities for young LGBTQ people in Calderdale.
- Calderdale SmartMove – this organisation helps vulnerable people to access housing services, gain employment and improve health and quality of life. The grant helped workshops to run in schools to help prevent people from becoming homeless.
- Cornholme and Portsmouth Old Library – the funding enhanced access to activities and services, including health services, within the local community.
- Hebden Bridge Arts Festival – by showcasing Calderdale’s distinctive landscape and creativity and enhancing partnership working, the funding helped a wider range of people to experience art and culture, and attracted more tourists.
- Square Chapel Arts Centre – the grant helped to make arts and culture accessible to all, including the most disadvantaged people, contributing to Calderdale’s regeneration and playing a vital role in the visitor economy.
- Street Angels – the money helped to provide a safe place and friendly advice during evenings to create a cleaner and safer night out in Halifax.
- Threeways – the grant-funded Volunteer Plus (V+) Project promoted volunteering across North Halifax, reducing the negative impact of unemployment.
The Council’s grants scheme supports the Vision2024 for Calderdale. It has built on the key themes of the Vision – the talent, enterprise and resilience of local communities by supporting organisations to train their volunteers to carry out skilled roles and helping more people into work; the kindness of local people by volunteering their time to help others; and the distinctiveness of Calderdale’s landscape and culture by encouraging more people to attend events and experience all that’s great about Calderdale.
At the V+ Project at Threeways, over 90% of those who completed the eight-week construction programme asked to continue their volunteering at Threeways afterwards. In total, the organisation recruited an extra 121 volunteers between 2015 and 2018 thanks to the Council grant. They said: “All our volunteers gain new knowledge and skills as a result of attending the programme. 100% of volunteers report feeling more ‘work ready’ on completion of the programme.”
At Square Chapel Arts Centre, volunteers provided 14,319 hours of support during the grant period. That’s more than 90 hours a week. They said: “Our outreach work has targeted older people living with Alzheimer’s, Roma and migrant communities and the South Asian communities in Halifax.”
One of the people who benefited from the grant-funded Positive Identities project at Barnardo’s said: “I am a pansexual trans man and I have found the group helpful for me as I have been able to meet other people who are Trans and have been through or are going through similar experiences to me.”
The Council continues its support for the voluntary sector and has recently awarded a further round of grants to a range of community organisations for 2018 – 2021.
The year 2024 marks Calderdale’s 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? What’s our ambition and what will be different? Get involved with the debate on Twitter with #VisionCdale2024 and find out more at www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/council/vision-2024