LOCAL groups who want to improve well-being, reduce hardship or provide a warm safe space to work, learn or socialise within their community are once again invited to apply for a grant from Devon County Council (DCC).

This is the third year DCC has made funding available to support local schemes through the Growing Communities Fund.

Since July 2022 funding has been awarded to hundreds of local projects to help them respond to a specific local need.

This year’s funding allocation will mean that since the fund was launched, DCC has made more than £1.1m available to help communities build self-reliance and resilience.

Groups with schemes that bring communities together, alleviate food poverty or tackle loneliness, isolation and build self-esteem for example are invited to apply.

This could include offering advice, peer support or guidance on budgeting, cooking low-cost nutritional meals or supporting the recruitment, training and retention of Volunteers.

Organisers of projects that have a clear and direct community benefit, such as improving the environment, or that use innovation to improve efficiency or proposals that seek to expand the reach of an existing scheme are also encouraged to apply.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Communities and Equality, said: “We have seen over the past few years how the Growing Communities Fund can provide local groups with the means to make a genuine difference in their communities.

“The scheme is open to any group who wants to respond to an identifiable local need; in one community that could mean providing new skills to help families better manage their limited budget; in another community it could be the provision of a space to enable people to socialise or seek advice.

“It’s this flexibility that has made the Growing Communities Fund so successful and I’m pleased to be able to announce this latest round of funding to support communities to become self-reliant and more resilient.”

For more information visit the webpage on DCC’s website (https://www.devon.gov.uk/communities/growing-communities-fund ) or email: [email protected] .