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Nine community groups benefit from the latest round of the Citizen Local Fund

Citizen has helped nine community groups across the West Midlands in the latest round of the Citizen Local Fund.

The groups applied to the fund – which is a pot of money available for projects running in Citizen communities – and they were able to apply for grants of up to £3,000.

The money is allocated to groups which support our customers and communities to thrive. In particular projects that improve physical and mental wellbeing, reduce social isolation, enhance local areas and bring communities together.

Groups which have been successful include:

  • Wildcats netball club – the club will use funding for bibs, kits and a ball for the team. It is based in North Solihull where Citizen has been part of a large regeneration project over several years.
  • Transition Worcester Food Rescue – the organisation collects and redistributes surplus food from local supermarkets to local charities and individual families. This project helps avoid food waste and helps vulnerable families.
  • Urban Goodies CIC – the group running in Holbrooks, Coventry, which helps to lessen food poverty. They provide a welcoming safe space in community centres and provide lunches, a community fridge and cooking lessons. They also have zero waste on their donated food.
  • St Oswald’s Church Design Your Space project – Ozzy’s Youth Group based in Tile Hill, Coventry, meets every week and is made up of youths living in Ferrers Close. These blocks are planned for demolition and this project will help the youngsters look forward to their new homes and help them to design items to go in their new bedrooms.
  • Roger Casements GAA Club – The group is a Gaelic football club based in Alderman’s Green, Coventry, and they are looking to grow the sport within the community. The money will provide more kit and equipment to support the growing numbers of their teams.
  • Walking for Wellbeing – the group is based in various locations across Coventry. Funding is being provided to pay for posters to advertise the walks.
  • St Peters Church – the group has used the funding to organise a series of children and youth events in the Square in Hillfields to promote positive use of the community’s space. The event was run during the school holidays and activities included arts and crafts, games such as giant chess and face painting.
  • HOPE Coventry – this group is also run in various locations across Coventry and its Good Neighbours Coventry group provides a support group for people living with dementia and their carers. The funding will help with their work in this group.
  • Coventry All Saints Parish: St Anne’s and St Margaret’s Churches – to help with a variety of groups including stay and play groups for young children, senior social meetings, mental health groups for ladies with crafts and refreshments and drop ins for school parents.

Geoff* is one of the people who attended the support group at HOPE Coventry for people living with dementia with his carer Sarah*.

Sarah said: “I was nervous about coming to Memory Lane dementia group, but we received a warm welcome. Geoff enjoyed all the activities, and it was wonderful for me to talk to others in similar circumstances. It is an amazing safe place to be, we love it.”

Jess Day-Pollard from HOPE Coventry said the group is so pleased to have been successful in the Citizen Local Fund.

Jess said: “We’re delighted to have received funding from Citizen, as this will help us support more people living with dementia and their carers in Coventry. We provide engaging activities and friendship, strengthening the local community.”

Another group which has been successful is Urban Goodies Community Interest Company who are using the money to provide food to disadvantaged people in Coventry. They currently hire the kitchen at their local community centre twice a week and with a dedicated volunteer chef, they produce two meals per week of restaurant quality for people who can’t afford food. These meals are then packaged in ready meal form for people to heat up in the microwave.

With money from the Citizen Local Fund, the group will be able to hire the kitchen for three days a week from September.

Director of Urban Goodies CIC Clare Allington-Dixon said: “This funding will support our volunteer costs for delivery of ready meals and the collection of surplus food. This can be up to 10 times a week for each volunteer. The food surplus is then distributed between our two community fridges and redistributed to our members, twice weekly.

“The grant received from the Citizen Local Fund will also enable us to open for collection of ready meals on a Saturday, thereby ensuring those in employment who are not normally able to access the project can be catered for.

“Furthermore, the funding will also be used for food we are not usually able to access via surplus (such as meat/chicken) that can be used for our ready meals. This grant is important at this juncture as we are entering into the winter period again where research has proven many people fail to eat properly so that they can pay for the gas and electricity bills. Our ready meals have been described by many as a “lifeline”.”

Customer Engagement Partner at Citizen Verity Darbyshire said: “We are thrilled that nine groups across the West Midlands have been successful in the latest round of the Citizen Local Fund.

“At Citizen we want to work with our partners to make a difference to our customers and our communities and the Citizen Local fund does just that.

“It’s fantastic to hear the impact that the money is making already by helping those living in our communities who are living with dementia and helping those who are struggling with food.

“Congratulations to everyone who has received funding in the latest round of the citizen Local fund. We are looking forward to it being used and seeing the impact it makes.”

The next round of the Citizen Local Fun is now open and is open until Tuesday 31 October.

Find out more about the Citizen Local Fund here

*names have been changed

For media enquiries contact our Communications Team.

Clf September