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Council's £900,000 cash injection to help communities

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Dudley Council has given nearly £900,000 worth of funding to voluntary groups in the borough.

The cash has been awarded to 19 different organisations following the latest round of bids to the local authority’s voluntary sector innovation fund.

They include schemes to re-open community centres, provide support to the most vulnerable young and elderly people in the borough, improve parks and help young people into work.

The fund was open to voluntary, community or faith sector organisations that help improve local neighbourhoods and provide support for adults and young people to live longer, safer and healthier lives.

The largest amount - £187,600 – has been awarded to Riverside Stourbridge Community Interest Company. It will see Riverside House, a derelict former ironworks near Stourbridge town centre, brought back into use and transformed into a heritage site for visitors which will include a café and a shop.

Cranstoun Switch, which works with young people with drug or alcohol problems, is to be given £102,271 to develop its advice and support services.

And Citizen Coaching CIC is to get £62,540 for a programme which will seek to help at least 150 people between the ages of 11 and 65 with anger management support over an 18-month period.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:

Voluntary and community groups play such an important part helping people in our borough, often on very tight budgets and with very little room to manoeuvre.
That’s why we’re delighted to be able to set this pot of cash aside to help such groups, and it’s brilliant to see a whole host of worthy projects get much-needed financial support to make them a reality.
I look forward to seeing them come to fruition, helping the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Other projects to receive funding:

Living Hope Church - £16,275 – to deliver weekly term time stay and play sessions for 0-4 year olds at St Barnabas Church, Russells Hall.

Black Country Wellbeing Hub - £19,270 – bridge the generation gap in Gornal and surrounding areas through classes and social events.

The Brierley Hill Project - £42,688 – provide training and work experience to 12 young people to help them become youth support workers.

CHADD - £12,000 – to provide quick response service for young people in need of specialist counselling and mental health support.

Compton Care - £46,755 – to create volunteer led bereavement information hubs, offering support to people in times of crisis, loss and grief.

Disability in Action - £35,000 – to encourage people with disabilities to use the service and then go on to become volunteers themselves, assisting with work experience and training.

Discover U – Project WD40 - £10,150 – to be used to create five films showcasing the potential of the people they work with - who have a range of learning disabilities and mental health issues – to future employers.

Dudley Counselling Centre - £47,252 – to open The Lighthouse Café working with young people and the elderly, providing training, cooking classes and facilities for community groups.

Friends of Wollescote Park - £40,550 – to build a sensory garden and pop up café in the walled area of Lye & Wollescote Park

Goodlife/Workshop 24 - £63,912 – to develop the Curiosity Club art project, which aims to reach lonely and isolated adults at risk of developing mental health problems

KIDS Orchard Centre - £38,797 – to develop a hub support young people with special educational needs by providing short break life skills sessions on Saturdays.

Living Hope Church - £18,504 – to provide four one-week school holiday clubs per year in deprived areas of the borough, including provision of hot meals.

Safe Families for Children - £48,000 – to support families and aim to reduce the risk of children being taken into care.

Saltmine Trust - £32,910 – raise awareness of domestic abuse by touring a dramatic play based on personal stories from women at the Women’s Refuge in Dudley, with an interactive workshop to follow the play.

St Thomas’s Community Association - £20,000 – take ownership of Sledmere Community Centre, delivering a range of activities for the local community.

Friends of Green Park - £15,000 – to install a children’s play area.

The voluntary sector innovation fund was launched at the end of 2017 and during its lifespan will see more than £2 million invested in the local and voluntary sector.

The primary aim of the fund is to create new ways to support people with an increased risk of needing hospital or social care services and to encourage people to get involved in local community activities.

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