Funding boost for voluntary organisations

Voluntary organisations offering services to Crowborough people are receiving thousands of pounds worth of support from Wealden District Council.

In total voluntary groups and organisations which provide help to Wealden residents will receive over £262,000 this year in ongoing support as part of Wealden’s commitment to the voluntary sector.

The biggest recipient this year is Wealden Citizens Advice who will receive £137,000 a year.  The Clued-up Information Shop, which is a drop-in advice centre for young people on The Broadway in Crowborough will receive £11,400 a year.

Clued-up Info Shop, The Broadway, Crowborough

Clued-up Info Shop, The Broadway, Crowborough

Each year, through its Service Level Agreements, Wealden District Council underwrites the work of some major voluntary services in the District.

Councillor Claire Dowling, Cabinet member for Community Health and Public Safety at Wealden District Council said:

Through our three year Service Level Agreements, we are able to provide medium term financial backing to many organisations, allowing them to plan ahead.  This makes a real difference to members of our community including the young and old and those with disabilities and makes Wealden a better place to live.

Wealden Citizens Advice, Croham Lodge, Crowborough

Wealden Citizens Advice, Croham Lodge, Crowborough

Wealden Citizens Advice, which has a bureaux in Croham Lodge, just behind The Regent (Lloyds Bank) in Crowborough, helps people with money, legal and other problems.

Caroline Mack, Chief Executive of Wealden Citizens Advice acknowledged the importance of Wealden’s support:

This core funding is vital to ensure that residents in Wealden have access to free, confidential, impartial and independent advice.

Working in partnership has enabled Wealden Citizens Advice to set up new services such as specialist advice in housing and welfare benefits, pilots in providing advice through Skype and email and much more.

Without the funding from WDC, our drop-in service and these new services would not exist, leaving the residents and vulnerable people of Wealden without a way to resolve their problems.

Altogether18 organisations will be given support by Wealden District Council.  These include Eastbourne and Wealden YMCA which helps provide accommodation for young homeless people in Crowborough and Uckfield; Furniture Now, who train and employ youngsters and vulnerable people to help repair and restore furniture which can be sold at discount to people on low incomes.

They Council are also supporting Care for the Carers who run clubs for young carers; Rotherfield St Martin who are looking to expand their health and social care work into Crowborough; and Homestart to provide support where needed to families in the north of the District.

Councillor Claire Dowling, added:

These organisations have a proven track-record of providing locally – focussed help making people’s lives better.  By giving them our committed support for a three year period, they can make better use of their own resources.

Organisations who play an important role in protecting our countryside such as The Conservators of Ashdown Forest and the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have also been supported, as have community transport groups such as North Wealden Community Transport and Cuckmere Community Bus.

Door-to-door shopping service

Wealdlink – door-to-door shopping service to Crowborough

North Wealden Community Transport Partnership run a door-to-door minibus service called Wealdlink to Crowborough, Tunbridge Wells and Eastbourne.   They are receiving £6,000 per year.  Linda Graham who is a Trustee said:

The financial support provided by Wealden District Council for our pre-bookable door-to-door shopping service aimed at those unable to use conventional bus services because of age, infirmity or location, is vital to the continuation of the service and enables us to keep fares affordable.

Research has shown that, particularly for those living alone, social isolation can lead to poor mental and physical health, with older people taking insufficient exercise as a result of being confined to their homes and becoming depressed due to being unable to access local amenities and information.

The services provided by NWCTP enable service users to have regular contact with friends and give them the opportunity to socialise on a variety of levels.

The full list of beneficiaries are:

Organisation Activity Service Level Agreement
3VA Local council for voluntary services. £16,250 pa
Action in Rural Sussex Helping rural communities. £5,000 pa
Care for the Carers Clubs for young carers. £8,000 pa
Conservators of Ashdown Forest Helping manage Ashdown Forest including litter clearance, road safer and reducing deer collisions. £10,000 pa
Clued Up Information shop for Crowborough young people. £11,400 pa
Cuckmere Community Bus Community transport for the south of the District. £5,000 pa
East Sussex Credit Union Loans and savings for people on low incomes. £9,440 pa
Eastbourne & Wealden YMCA Project for young people requiring accommodation in the north of the District. £6,250 pa
East Sussex Association for Blind and Partially Sighted People Provision of a telephone helpline service. £4,000 pa
Furniture Now Furniture recycling business, training unemployed young people and those with mental health problems. £15,000 pa
High Weald AONB Helping deliver a management plan within the Area or Outstanding Natural Beauty. £7,200 pa
Homestart Practical support to familiarise mainly in the north of the District. £7,000 pa
Mediation + Neighbour dispute and conflict resolution. £6,000 pa
North Wealden Community Transport Community transport in the north of the District. £6,000 pa
Rotherfield St Martin Expanding this church in the community project offering heath and social care to older people. £6,420 pa
Sussex Association for Spina Bifida and Hyrdocephalus Support for an advisor on health, well being and social inclusion. £3,000 pa
EDEAL Providing business development advice. £4,000 pa
Wealden Citizens’ Advice Providing advice services in Crowborough Hailsham and Uckfield. £137,000 pa