Organisations from across Staffordshire are being invited to apply for funding to help support their local communities.
A new round of the £10m annual fund available through the Ministry of Defence’s Armed Forces Covenant Fund is now open until the end of 2018. This funding offers financial support to organisations and projects to help bring together Armed Forces and civilian communities and deliver local services to the Armed Forces Community.
Groups and individuals can also raise funds through the new Crowdfund Staffordshire website which allows them to showcase their project to the thousands of people who regularly donate to good causes online. The platform also includes free advice, coaching, webinars and workshops to help make sure their fundraising campaign is a success.
Also for projects that help children and families directly, the £50k Children and Families fund will match fund some projects up to £5K if they get support from the community.
Gill Heath, Cabinet Member for Communities at Staffordshire County Council said:
“We want to be able to support our local communities and we have a number of funds which are helping us do this.
“The Armed Forces Covenant Fund is a great scheme that helps support our local armed forces, those serving, veterans, cadets and their families to be more involved in local community’s activities. We have a long and proud military heritage here in Staffordshire and it’s important we support them in whatever ways we can.
“Our new Crowdfund Staffordshire website and Children and Families fund is also supporting communities to get their projects off the ground, so I would encourage organisations to make an application and visit the website.”
For further information on the Armed Forces Covenant Fund visit www.covenantfund.org.uk. To start fundraising on Crowdfund Staffordshire visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/funds/crowdfund-staffordshire. People can also contact Amanda Dawson-Blower firstname.lastname@example.org further details on both funds.
In Staffordshire, the following organisations recently received funding for their projects:
In Stafford, ‘Upbeat Families’ sessions for Forces families with pre-school children, has increased participation amongst Early Years children through music.
Make Some Noise have continued to grow the Upbeat Families sessions with the support of funding from The Covenant Fund and the Army Youth Welfare team based at The HIVE and now in their second year of provision. The success of the group has been astounding, with parents of many different nationalities attending the sessions. In particular families of serving Gurkha personnel have increasingly started to attend sessions, supporting better community integration with resident families within Stafford.
Cat Crum, Make Some Noise Programme Development officer said ‘ the success of this project has been amazing, the amount of families attending these sessions is so high that we have started to look at providing a second group so that all Stafford forces families have an opportunity to attend. This project truly embraces our belief in inclusive music making and we are able to see the benefits and impact of quality music provision in relation to the development of both children’s and parents language improvement within our Nepalese families. We are both grateful and delighted to be delivering this project for a second year with the support of The Covenant Fund”
Citizens Advice South East Staffordshire received around £5,000 to deliver their project ‘Money Talks, Advice & Guidance’ to members of the Armed Forces and their families in and around Whittington.
Based at the Hub at Whittington every fortnight people can call in without an appointment and if necessary service personnel can be seen within the establishment if necessary. Citizens Advice liaise with welfare services, staff from the Hub and SSAFA to bring advice and information to those who need it – should personnel move to another part of the country, they can be referred to their local Citizens Advice offer for continued help and support.
Sandra Cooper, Chief Executive said ‘We are so pleased to have been given this opportunity to work with the Welfare Team at DMS Whittington to provide a holistic service to armed forces personnel and their families, including connecting them with local services which can help and support them. We very much look forward to providing a joined up advice and information service to those who need it.’
Eagle’s Nest based in Burton, a project that works with young people who have been excluded from school recently secured funding through Crowdfund Staffordshire and the County Council’s Children and Families fund.
Jan Appleton from Eagle’s Nest said: “We’ve just used Crowdfund Staffordshire for our project and we were thrilled to get just over £5K through it, with Giftaid it will be even more. It took a bit of work to get our heads around it, but the support was great and it was definitely worth it. A chunk of the money came from the Children and Families Fund which really helped us to jump nearer to the target and get people on board, ensuring we got there in the end. It was amazing to see parents of some of the young people we work with donating, along with those we don’t have personal contact with and wouldn’t have reached usually. We can now begin the process of recruitment so that we have a new part time member of staff in place for September.”