Sheffield City Council is set to change the terms of its grant aid for voluntary organisations to make the most of available funding and provide more stability.

Next year the Council plans to maintain its funding and allocate £1.62million for grant aid. The Council also plans to establish a new, larger city-centre mobility scheme.

The plan is to allocate the funding as follows:

  • £1.13m will be available for proposals from eight organisations that currently receive grant aid and deliver core services linking to council work and priorities, linking to other public sector work, tackle inequality and improve wellbeing.
  • £189,000 will be set aside to support lunch clubs.
  • £190,000 will be open to applications from voluntary organisations that help the voluntary sector thrive and deliver.
  • £107,000 will be open to applications from voluntary sector organisations that tackle inequalities.

There are also smaller funds to support activities for Black and minority ethnic older people (£30,000) and to support the city’s seven Equality Hubs (£75,000).

Funding agreements will be made longer, from one year to two and three years, and more organisations will be able to bid for a share of the funds.

Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for Community Services at Sheffield City Council, said: “Our voluntary sector does some amazing work in the city and provide brilliant support to some of our most vulnerable residents. So despite the huge government cuts we are seeing, we’re going to carry on supporting the sector with our grant funding.

“The changes we’ve developed mean that we’re providing organisations with longer-term agreements which mean more stability, so they can plan better and help even more people. We’re also being clearer about our priorities and how we allocate funding.

“We will continue to work together with voluntary groups to tackle poverty and inequality in Sheffield. I want to thank all the volunteers who help with this.”

The organisations being invited to submit proposals for the funding pot of £1.13million are: Ben’s Centre; City of Sanctuary; Roshni; Sheffield Citizens Advice & Legal Centre; Sheffield Association for the Voluntary Teaching of English; St Vincent de Paul Furniture Store; Voluntary Action Sheffield (New Beginnings) and St Wilfred’s Centre.

Maddy Desforges, Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Sheffield, said: “We recognise the really difficult funding environment within which local authorities right across the country are working.

“We welcome the three year grant settlement the Council is proposing, which in part reflects close consultation and working to better understand the needs of the sector and challenges we are facing”

The planned changes will be discussed by Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday 21 September. If approved, the new arrangements will be in place by April 2017, with organisations able to bid for funding from October 2016.

Visit www.sheffield.gov.uk for more information.

ENDS