Published Friday, 19th March 2021

In 2021/22, 11 local projects will share almost £60,000 from Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s Medium Grant Fund.

Every year grants between £2,000 and £20,000 are awarded to voluntary, community and faith organisations who carry out valuable work supporting residents.

People set to benefit from the projects include unpaid carers, parents of children with autism and residents referred for exercise by their GP. Services and activities to be supported range from food parcels and hot meals, physical exercise, advice and wellbeing support.

This year, the Council has increased the total amount awarded through the fund so it can support organisations responding to the additional pressures caused by the coronavirus. Some projects helping those affected will be supplemented with the additional COVID funding provided by the Government.

Cllr Rod Ashford, Executive Member for Community Partnerships, said: “Many families and individuals are facing increased financial hardship or are struggling physically or emotionally due to the pandemic so it’s good news we can fund more of the support they need.

“Our aim is to fund projects that give practical help locally and we were impressed by the variety and quality of the support provided by the applications we received, as well as the dedication of the staff and volunteers involved.

“I look forward to getting to know our new partners over the year ahead and working closely together to strengthen our communities.”

Crossroads Care, which will receive funding from the Community Partnerships team for the first time and has expanded its outreach and befriending work to meet increasing need, is supporting unpaid carers who are isolated and suffering health inequalities.

Crossroads Care CEO, Terry Hawkins, said: “Not only are we taking on volunteers locally to help build our capacity and provide both practical and emotional support to carers and other vulnerable older people, we are adapting the way that we provide regular carer respite to clients so that it is supported by teams that have specialist training in areas of dementia, complex needs, and medication administration.”

Other organisations receiving funding from the Community Partnerships team for the first time in 2021/2 are Autism All Stars, Surrey Welfare Rights, Sight for Surrey and Kingswood Terriers Football Club.

Sight for Surrey’s Trusts and Grants Fundraiser, Helen Hopkins, said: “The £3,000 grant towards our Eye Clinic Liaison work in Reigate & Banstead will make a huge difference in our aim to provide early intervention and practical and emotional support to those diagnosed with a sight loss.”

Organisations that received grants last year, such as YMCA East Surrey and The Include Project, will receive support to develop and improve their offer.

Loveworks, which supports people experiencing food poverty, received a grant in 2020/21 to help pay for a volunteer coordinator. This year’s grant will help staff work with families and individuals to reduce their reliance on foodbank support.

Find out more about the 11 organisations and their projects here.