Community health and wellbeing grants available

Somerset County Councillors want to hear from anyone with a community project idea that will help improve the health and wellbeing of people in their local patch.

The Health and Wellbeing Budget Scheme is running for the third year. The application period is open from now until 30 November 2014.

The fund provides each County Councillor with a one-off sum of £5,000 (with a mimimum grant of £250) to support local initiatives that promote health and wellbeing for people.

Councillors are particularly keen on projects that will help those who find it difficult to join in current community activities. It is expected this funding will largely be directed towards voluntary and community groups, parish councils and not-for-profit organisations.

Last year South Somerset received £70,850 from the Health and Wellbeing Budget Scheme.  Some of the projects which benefitted include:

  • The Birchfield Park ‘Trim Trail’ in Yeovil which works on the principle of using body weight to get yourself over, under and through a series of static obstacles. The ‘Trim Trail’ is located next to the existing 3-2-1 route at Yeovil Country Park which gives residents the opportunity to access both routes together, creating a 6km route. It was funded by South Somerset District Council and Somerset County Council.
  • Chard Museum was also awarded funding to set up a walking history tour of the town. Visitors have been able to learn about the town’s history on foot outside the museum walls stopping off at the twenty blue plaque sites of historical interest round the town.

Last year Taunton Deane received £58,373.00 and some of the projects to benefit include:

  • Revive Youth group, working in the Rockwell Green part of Wellington who were awarded funds to help young people aged from 13-18 transform a local wasteland area into useful community land.   The youngsters received training and support during the project to enhance their job prospects and the outdoors work helped improve fitness levels.
  • 4-40 Volunteers provide invaluable low level support to the wives/partners and families of 40 Commando Royal Marines.  The Christian based group were awarded funding to help train new volunteers in safeguarding, first aid and listening skills.  They provide precious time to help the wives and partners of 40 Commando Royal Marines when their husband or partner is away during a deployment, education or exercise.

Last year West Somerset received £20,000 from the Health and Wellbeing Budget Scheme and some of the projects to benefit include:

  • Stogumber Playground Association who received funding to help build a bike trail designed to keep the village’s youngsters busy, healthy and active outdoors.
  • The Community Council for Somerset (Village Agents) received funding to run workshops for adults and young families without basic cooking skills.  A local chef helped teach people how to cook low cost, nutritious meals using the sort of things found in a food parcel, plus a few extras.  Somerset Waste Partnership also offered advice from their ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign on food storage and minimising waste and Somerset Skills and Learning also took part.

Last year Sedgemoor received £41,355.00 from the Health and Wellbeing Budget scheme. Some of the community projects to benefit include:

  • Burnham-On-Sea’s mini lighthouse trail organised by Highbridge and Burnham artists.  The replicas of Burnham’s iconic lighthouse form a trail that people can walk round.
  • The Mendip Hills AONB Unit (in partnership with Sedgemoor District Council, National Trust, Somerset Tourism Association (STA) and CPRE) received funding towards a project to encourage people to climb Somerset’s landmark hills and enjoy the splendid expansive 360° views over the Somerset Levels. The project aims to improve people’s health, promote appreciation of landscape and benefit local businesses.
  • AONB Partnership Chairman Dawn Hill secured the grant from the health and wellbeing fund.  A promotional video has been produced and is available on the 360° web page of the Visit Somerset web site with PDFs for each hill. The new Visit Somerset app includes a Visit Somerset’s 360°s button. Developing links with businesses continues to both promote the 360°s button and the businesses.  http://www.mendiphillsaonb.org.uk/projects/

Last year Mendip received £50,007.00 from the Health and Wellbeing Budget Scheme.  Some of the community projects to benefit include:

  • Frome’s community gardeners received funding to provide storage for their tools and equipment. They grow organic fruit and vegetables and sell it locally to families in the neighbourhood and they also run gardening workshops for local people.
  • Wells women’s rugby club (RFC) received funding to help attract new ladies to the sport from farther afield, improve competitiveness and enhance training and coaching opportunities for the players.

Councillor Christine Lawrence, Chair of Somerset Health and Wellbeing Board said: “There may be many things you would like to see which would help improve health and wellbeing locally so please get in touch to discuss them or send your application in as soon as possible.

“We are particularly interested in helping to reduce the inequalities in health which are currently experienced by some groups in the population in Somerset.  Your local Councillor is looking forward to talking to you about your ideas.”

A list of Somerset’s County Councillors is on the council website
http://www1.somerset.gov.uk/council/councillors.asp or phone 0845 345 9166

Further information about the Health and Wellbeing Budget scheme is also on our website at http://www.somerset.gov.uk/get-involved/community/community-funding-sources/