Should we be supporting community groups?

Our view is a resounding “YES!”. Being part of a community group helps members by helping them to find out what’s going on, learning new skills, meeting people and making friends, sharing views and helping to bring people together whatever their age or background.

Community groups are a powerful force for democracy – they can influence, control and own the decisions that shape their lives and the places where they live.

Being involved is a core part of what we’re all about.

Which is just as well, as we’ve been selected as a panel partner for the Government’s ‘Community First Programme’ which will see £150,000 made available to groups across four of our neighbourhoods. This is great news!

So, what’s Community First?  It’s a £30m government-funded initiative running until March 2015. As part of the programme, communities are encouraged to come together and identify what they’re good at and decide what’s important to them to plan for a more sustainable future.

Residents from Farnworth, Great Lever and Kearsley have until Friday, June 1, and Tonge with the Haulgh until Monday, May 21, to submit applications for a share of the funding, with grants ranging from £250 to £2,500 for both new and existing community groups.

To be eligible for funding, projects must meet local priorities that could include ways to improve the environment, bring communities closer together or improve people’s health, wellbeing and welfare.

This is a fantastic opportunity, supporting new and existing community groups to deliver difference-making activities and projects.

We’re committed to creating homes and neighbourhoods we can all be proud of.  So, we’re delighted to have been selected to take part.

So come on you community groups!   Get in touch with your proposals, whether it’s an intergenerational or cultural initiative, a campaign for green spaces, a healthy eating drive or volunteering opportunities – a grant could be made available to support YOU.

Further information on how to apply can be found at http://www.boltonathome.org.uk. Alternatively, phone Barbara Burton on 01204 332852 for Tonge with the Haulgh enquiries, or me (Gail Helme) on 01204 337967 for Farnworth, Great Lever and Kearsley. Good luck!

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