Voluntary groups benefit from £693,732 in council grants

PR2040/EC/MF - 22/04/2016

Mid Sussex District Council has pledged more than £693,000 to help support local voluntary organisations over the next three years.

At a recent meeting of the Council’s Cabinet, Mid Sussex District Council committed to a Partnership Agreement that will see them pay a total of £693,732 to the Central and South Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Action in Rural Sussex, Age UK East Grinstead, Age UK West Sussex and Horsham and Mid Sussex Voluntary Action.

The Council has issued the three year funding agreement to provide these valuable voluntary organisations with a greater certainty and financial stability that well help them to plan for the future.

Action in Rural Sussex (AirS) will receive £7,050 per year for the next three years to help them protect the vibrant living and working places we have in rural Mid Sussex. Village Halls are often the heartbeat of rural communities and in 2016/17 AirS will be working to support them by providing legal, organisational and development advice to the trustees and management commitees running these facilities on behalf of local people.

Central and South Sussex Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) will receive £119,404 per year for the next three years to support the excellent work they do informing local people of their rights and directing them towards organisations that can provide help and support. During 2015/16, the three CAB centres in Mid Sussex helped 7,987 people with their enquiries and dealt with 10,274 separate issues. They provide advice for everyone but in particular they support people who are experiencing or are at risk of domestic abuse, those at risk of losing their homes and people on low incomes.

Age UK East Grinstead and Age UK West Sussex have been allocated £67,237 per year for the next three years to help them provide activities and services that improve the wellbeing and quality of life for people in later life. There are around 800 older people in Mid Sussex who are members of three Age UK centres in Burgess Hill, East Grinstead and Haywards Heath. The centres provide older people with a place where they can meet and socialise, enjoy a cooked lunch or take part in activities like short mat bowls, arts and crafts, quizzes and exercise classes.

Age UK also help older people locally to keep their independence and continue living in their own home by providing support with household tasks like cleaning, ironing, shopping and laundry.

 Horsham and Mid Sussex Voluntary Action (HAMSVA) will receive £37,553 per year for the next three years for them to support local charities, volunteers, community groups, non-profit organisations and social enterprises. HAMSVA provide local voluntary groups with expert advice on funding generation, employment law, management and training. They also help to promote the value of volunteering and help local organisations to recruit more volunteers.
“We’re delighted that Mid Sussex District Council has made this long-term commitment to Age UK West Sussex, providing us with much needed grant funding for the next three years,” said Diane Henderson Chief Executive at AgeUK West Sussex. “It really is appreciated because it gives us much greater financial security and will help us to continue the great work we are doing in the local community.

“This money will mean so much to the older people who live in Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath and the surrounding villages. Most of us take for granted the enjoyment we get from spending time with our friends and family but many older people face spending all day everyday on their own. That’s why it is so important that we have AgeUK centres for them to visit, meet new people and enjoy the company of others.”