SOUTHEND Council is inviting voluntary and community organisations to apply now for next year's grants.
Groups are being asked to submit their applications for funding for the financial year starting Thursday, April 1 2010.
In 2009/10, the council gave nearly £562,000 worth of grants to 28 local voluntary and community groups.
Funding ranged from £350 to £180,840 and covered a wide range of activities, services and projects such as the Homeless Action Resource Project (HARP), Trust Links - supporting those with mental health issues and their carers, DIAL - the Disability Advice Network, and Essex Racial Equality Council.
The council will decide grant allocations for the financial year 2010/11 according to the following priorities:
* For services the Council would have to provide if the sector were unable to.
* Information and advice service provision.
* Children and Young People.
* Community Cohesion and Engagement.
* Community Safety.
* Culture and Leisure.
* Health and social well-being.
When groups apply for grants, they must clearly show in their application how they meet these priorities.
To be considered for a grant award, groups must be:
* groups that are non-statutory organisations.
* groups that are formally constituted.
* Groups that operate in the not-for-profit sector.
* Groups that are clearly able to demonstrate their ability, through a grant award, to deliver benefit to the community within the grant year and to sustain their activities.
* Groups whose activities benefit residents of Southend.
Anyone interested in applying for a grant should view the application pack on the council's website at www.southend.gov.uk to see if they are eligible.
The council will be running a Community Chest programme aimed at small-scale projects within Southend.
This fund has a total budget of £10,000 and applications of up to £2,000 will be considered.
The Annual and Community Chest programmes close at 5pm on Friday, December 18.
No applications received after this date will be considered.
The council's In-Year grants programme will also continue during 2010/11.
This fund is for pump-priming new groups, emergency matters for established groups and for special events that promote community cohesion and well-being in Southend.
Application packs for all the above programmes are available by visiting www.southend.gov.uk or by calling Kelly Defriend on 01702 215000, extension 4812.
Yellow Advertiser, 15th October 2009