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Grant applications open to all community groups and charities

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The connect4communities grant scheme is launching again this December.

The programme is funded by the new Household Support Fund, awarded to the Isle of Wight Council by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Community programmes, voluntary groups, education settings and charities are all encouraged to apply for funding to support vulnerable households with essential services this winter.

Town, parish and community councils can also apply.

Among last year's recipients was The Footprint Trust, an Island charity which helps those in fuel poverty by promoting energy and water efficiency. 

Ray Harrington-Vail, general manager, said: "Last year was our busiest year in almost two decades. As an Island charity we have given £24,000 worth of aid in just 12 months.

“The connect4communities grant contributed towards this amount, enabling us to offer practical solutions for Islanders who had been most affected, financially, during the pandemic.

“There has been a huge rise in fuel poverty — particularly among households whose income has been hit by job losses.

“The council’s grant has helped to fund our work in the community; this has included the provision of white goods and energy vouchers for pre-paid meters, all of which has gone directly to those in need.

“In addition to the practical support that The Footprint Trust provides, their guidance on energy saving offers long term support to households."

Local community groups are invited to apply for community grant funding to deliver projects and activities that help provide vulnerable families with food, utilities and keeping warm. 

This funding is intended to benefit households struggling to afford food, fuel and other essential items.  


Another beneficiary of the previous community grant scheme was Pan Together, a charity that provides a community hub for the residents of East Newport.

Rachel Thomson, community centre manager, said: "Although Downside Community Centre and the Isobel Cafe were closed to visitors during the various lockdowns, our support services have remained a lifeline to many local families and vulnerable adults, living in one of the most disadvantaged areas on the Island.

"Funds from the connect4communities winter grant contributed towards 20 hot home-delivered meals each weekday lunchtime for local children and young people whose families were 'on the cusp' of eligibility for free school meals during the lockdown from January to March this year.

"A total of 1,805 no-cost children's meals have been distributed since March 2020.

“As well as supporting families, we have offered discounted meals to vulnerable adults, which we were able to subsidise thanks to the council’s grant and the support of other generous funders.

“Meal deliveries, prescription runs, and grocery shopping have also been undertaken by our amazing team of volunteers and staff."

Applications for the connect4Communities grant scheme are open until March 2022. Those who wish to make an application, are advised to do so sooner rather than later, to avoid missing out.

For more information about the grant scheme and how to apply, visit 


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