14 November 2023
Apply now for Removing Barriers Grants
New fund launched to give £500 grants to community groups and charities to help residents with lower incomes attend
A new fund has launched to help residents with lower incomes play a full part in community life.
Voluntary, faith and community groups of all sizes are being invited to apply for £500 grants to make events and activities in Wokingham Borough more accessible to residents on low incomes.
These Removing Barriers Grants come from Wokingham Borough Council’s £250,000 Hardship Fund, which is helping deliver the borough’s Tackling Poverty Strategy.
Community groups can apply for a grant of up to £500 to remove barriers to full participation in community life for those living on low incomes. This could include:
- Covering the cost of transport for an individual or group to attend an activity
- Subsidising the cost of an activity
- Piloting a buddy scheme to improve confidence in attending activities, or supporting an existing scheme
- Providing respite care so carers can attend an activity
Innovative ideas welcome
The council would welcome new and innovative ideas beyond this list. The fund aims to support the widest range of residents who are living on low incomes across a broad range of activities.
Grants are open for all kinds of community groups, including charities and voluntary organisations.
Groups don’t need to be a registered charity to apply. Small grassroots community organisations are eligible.
Small groups are welcome to make a joint application. By removing some of the financial barriers to full participation in community life, the grants help ensure that all residents can play a full part in the life of our borough.
'Helping residents live full, healthy lives'
Cllr Rachel Bishop-Firth, executive member for equalities, inclusion and fighting poverty, said: “Organisations across the borough do wonderful work to run events and activities which bring people together. Taking part in community activities brings residents joy, keeps them healthy and provides them with a vital opportunity to connect with others.
“But too many people are excluded from community activities because they live on a very low income and can’t afford even a few pounds for a carer or an entry fee. This can lead to extreme isolation and long-term health problems.
“I am delighted that this fund will allow our community organisations to remove some of the barriers to our residents living full, healthy lives.
"This fund will open up events and activities to those who may have previously been excluded because they are living on a low income. These grants offer organisations flexibility to help remove barriers to participation in the way which works best for their group.”
How to apply
Removing Barriers Grant application forms can be downloaded from Wokingham Borough Council’s website. A total of £8,000 is available through the fund.
Applications for the first round of the fund should be returned by Monday 27 November.
It follows the announcement of more than £100,000 of funding being awarded to voluntary organisations through the Hardship Fund.
Wokingham Borough’s Hardship Fund projects will deliver long term, high value projects designed to give a much greater long term value to our residents than the cost of the initial seed-funding investment.
Get cost of living help
More projects funded by Wokingham Borough’s Hardship Fund and the Household Support Fund, which is funded by central Government, will be launched in the coming months.
The projects are informed by the borough’s Tackling Poverty Strategy.
This strategy aims to support people out of poverty, strengthen community resilience to prevent people falling into poverty and improving life opportunities for those living in poverty.
All the latest cost of living help and advice for the borough can be found on the cost of living help hub.