Better outcomes for local people is the promise from Croydon Council as the next phase of its Community Fund outlines a three-year investment programme totalling more than £6m.
Already identified are 15 new projects set to benefit to the tune of more than £800,000 over that period, and all organisations that have previously received funding have also been successful in the bidding process.
Guided by recommendations made by the Opportunity and Fairness Commission, the Community Fund will be working toward five clearly defined outcomes:
• To support vibrant, responsible and connected communities.
• To provide a connected borough in which nobody feels isolated.
• To support residents toward better times.
• To ensure that no child is left behind.
• To find homes for all.
The commission undertook an extensive consultation exercise, speaking to more than 3,000 Croydon residents, as well as public bodies, businesses, and voluntary and community organisations. The themes and conclusions of the commission’s final report are, therefore, the result of one of the most extensive community conversations undertaken in Croydon.
Over the next three years, the council is proposing to invest about £6.2 million in the Community Fund, intending to deliver the outcomes that focus on early prevention and intervention.
That time frame will see the fund support 35 organisations, including 15 new initiatives that total approximately £815,000. It will also retain £300,000 for the Community Grants programme, providing small grants of less than £5,000. All organisations that received funding previously have been offered funding.
The Stronger Communities Partnership Board will receive regular reports showing how the Community Fund and the small grants programme are performing, to ensure high standards of accountability, transparency and best use of resources. Success will be measured through robust contract management to ensure that outcomes continue to improve for residents.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
“The Community Fund reflects the council’s confidence in the borough’s residents, and its commitment to tackle entrenched inequality and drive up opportunities for our many and varied communities right across Croydon.
“The Opportunity and Fairness Commission, of which I was a member, highlighted the importance and of Croydon’s voluntary sector and found that almost half of our residents would do more to help a neighbour – pointing to the scale of untapped resources that residents potentially offer. Their thinking has helped frame the next phase of the Community Fund, and the council is grateful for the commission’s considerable input.
“The fund is focused on changing the lives of some of the borough’s most disadvantaged communities for the better, and that’s why the council is investing such a large sum of money.”