Published: Tuesday, 10th May 2022
Small grants totalling more than £40,000 have given a boost to around 80 community organisations since November thanks to an innovative borough council scheme.
The scheme gives money to each councillor to spend on good causes in their ward. For some small community groups even a few pounds towards a piece of equipment can make all the difference to helping them keep going.
Cllr Stuart Dark, MBE, borough council leader, said: “During the height of the pandemic I witnessed how communities came together to support each other and that was the inspiration behind this scheme – to get out and support grass-roots good causes across west Norfolk.
“This scheme puts the borough council’s support right into the heart of communities. Our ward members are the experts in the needs of their local areas and this means they get to choose how best to support small groups.
“These small grants support local projects, initiatives and activities that will have a positive impact throughout the borough.
“We all enjoy seeing big projects come to fruition but sometimes small, everyday improvements can make a big difference to a community and I feel immense pride when I read about the ways in which we have achieved that through this borough council scheme.”
Uses of the grants have varied widely. Hunstanton and District Men’s Shed benefited from a grant to buy materials such as wood, screws and glue, while Future4Fairgrounds was able to buy books to give to local schools to increase knowledge and understanding of the showman community.
At the Burnhams surgery, a grant supported the purchase of benches for use by people visiting the dementia garden or waiting for transport, while in Great Massingham a new biodiversity area will be established in the community garden.
North Lynn Methodist Church will benefit from a community fridge and at Harding’s Pits, a grant will support the work of volunteers and the doorstep green will be enhanced.
Cllr Dark added: “These grants are exactly as described: they are not for large sums but they have the capacity to make a significant difference to the causes – and the communities – that they support.”
A further £55,000 was set aside for this year. The scheme is open; to apply visit west-norfolk.gov.uk/cllr-grant-scheme.