One of the best things about my new role this year as Cabinet Member with responsibility for community grants is being able to award money for local projects. Crawley Borough Council has a proud tradition of grant making for various community-based services and events run by local charities and volunteers, and it is one that this Labour administration is fully committed to continuing.
As well as providing vital funding to key local agencies such as Crawley Citizens Advice Centre and the Crawley CVS services, we have this year awarded main grants to more than 25 other services including for Community Transport, Community Clubs for older people and a new homelessness prevention project. The total amount available this year was over £622,000.
In this role I have had the opportunity to support some of the voluntary work taking place in our neighbourhoods, such as the local community forums and exciting events in the town centre, our parks and at The Hawth theatre.
Each month there is opportunity to consider funding applications for new activities, events or equipment required by a diverse range of groups in the Borough. If you are a member of a local voluntary or community group working in Crawley why not apply to our Open Grants scheme – it’s easy to apply for up to £2,500.
Grants are awarded in many cases, provided the applications meet the council’s requirements.
This year I have approved grants for ‘The WORKS’ event for people with learning disabilities, ‘SAATHI’ older people’s friendship club, ‘Outset Youth Action’ for volunteering opportunities, a ‘Vision in Youth Collective’ event organised by young people, ‘Crawley Festival’ Cultural Kitchen’s tasty event held in June and the ‘Festivals in Crawley’ group coordinating community events.
I had the opportunity to visit ‘The WORKS’ recently and was really delighted to see how much fun everyone was having. It was a timely reminder that councils aren’t always just there for the bad things in life. It’s a pleasure to be able to do things in the community that add just that little bit more value to people’s lives.
All these small grants can make a big difference!
Cllr Michael Jones,