Revamped community grants programme helps 36,000 residents 

A new approach to funding community and voluntary sector partnerships in the city benefitted nearly 36,000 residents in its first year.

The figures come from the first evaluation of the city’s Third Sector Commissioning (TSC) programme going to next week’s Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities & Equalities Committee.

Twenty-six community and voluntary sector partnerships were awarded three year grants under the TSC programme in January 2017.

These grant agreements end next March and we’re now seeking the go ahead to begin consultation on updating the process for grant agreements starting from April 2020.

New approach to awarding grants

The TSC programme is a joint initiative between the council and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). 

It was introduced to make sure grant awards deliver maximum value for money, meet community need and support the city’s community and voluntary sector effectively. 

In the first year, 35,959 residents benefitted from 144,660 sessions run under the programme. 

The secure three-year funding has allowed organisations to plan and build their capability to deliver services focussing on people with multiple and complex needs.

They’ve also been able to add value, with the partnerships securing a further £6.27 million in funding in contracts and additional grant applications. 

Supporting a stronger community and voluntary sector for the city

Councillor Emma Daniel, chair of the Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities & Equalities committee, said: 

“It’s great to see the positive impact this new approach to funding has had on the city’s community and voluntary sector – particularly how many residents have benefitted.

“The stability of the funding allows the sector to connect with communities and help many people who otherwise struggle to access services.

“It‘s given organisations the breathing space to develop new activity and secure additional funding, which has helped provide a stronger and more sustainable sector in the city.”

Sally Polanski, the Deputy Chief Executive of Amaze, a charity working with families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, said: 

“The third sector commission has had a huge impact on the lives of parent carers and children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. 

“It’s enabled the provision of information, advice and support services and short breaks to local families, which has in turn increased their confidence and resilience, and strengthened their voice to shape the decisions that affect them.”

More information

The consultation process will also be seeking feedback on the funding schemes and application process for the council’s Communities Fund