Voluntary groups and local charities working to improve information, advice and guidance in health and social care, are urged to apply for new funds to support their work.
The funding is being made available through the Healthwatch Essex Fund which was established by Healthwatch Essex in 2016 and is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation. To date, grants totalling £150,000 have been awarded to support a wide range of local healthcare projects.
Healthwatch Essex provides an information service to help people access, understand, and navigate the health and social care system, as well as gathering people’s experiences to help improve local services.
Dr David Sollis, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Essex said, “There are some amazing charities and voluntary groups in Essex and the work they do is crucial in ensuring people get the support they need. In many cases they are the best placed organisations in the community to connect with local people and to help people in need navigate the right path to appropriate support.”
There are two levels of grants that voluntary organisations and local charities can apply for - small grants of up to £10,000 and larger grants of up to £35,000. The latter is for strategic projects which will significantly improve access to local services at a county level or develop new ways of working. Please note that groups who operate solely in Southend and Thurrock are not eligable to apply.
Organisations which have previously received support include, Action for Family Carers for their outreach service and Brentwood Community Print which supports people with mental ill-health.
James Clarke, Chief Executive of Action for Family Carers, said, “Not everyone who cares for someone necessarily identifies themselves as a carer so our outreach programme is vital to ensure that everyone, no matter their circumstance or disadvantage, has equal access to information and advice that will help them”.
Audrey Clark of Brentwood Community Print said, “Suffering from mental ill-health can be incredibly isolating as the stigma and discrimination that still surrounds it means people often don’t engage with help before crisis occurs. Our Community Tree initiative works to bridge this gap and help people to navigate the services available to them before they reach that point”.
Click here for the Healthwatch Essex Fund application criteria and guidelines. The deadline date for applications is 22 September 2017.
We would encourage applicants to call ECF to ask questions and receive support in advance of starting their application.