Almost 70 voluntary and community groups across the borough benefited from £10m in funding this year, as Merton Council continued its commitment to bridging the gap between the best and worst off in the borough.
It is the second year running that the Council has increased funding to the local voluntary sector, with an extra £107,000 being awarded this year.
The money will ensure voluntary groups can continue providing vital services across Merton, ranging from holiday clubs for children with disabilities to care for vulnerable adults, mental health support services and financial support for local projects such as community theatres and the popular Deen City Farm.
In addition, the Council continued its commitment to supporting projects that bridge the socio-economic gap between the east and west of the borough, including the award of more than £130,000 to Commonside Community Development Trust to boost local skills and wellbeing for residents in the Pollard Hill area.
Other services funded by the council to bridge the gap include HIV advice sessions in barber shops in Mitcham, exercise classes at Age UK Merton’s base in Mitcham, and the charity’s befriending projects targeting BME groups. The Council also awarded almost £300,000 to the Alzheimer Society to provide a Dementia Hub in the borough.
In total, 68 local community and voluntary groups will benefit from the Council, which has now allocated more than £60million to the voluntary sector in the past five years.
Cabinet Member for Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Community Safety, Councillor Edith Macauley said: “The amazing work carried out by the voluntary organisations and volunteers across Merton is the lifeblood of our communities, and so it’s a real pleasure to be able to increase their funding again this year.
“The sector brings people together from all walks of life to enjoy community activities, and enhances the lives of all our residents from the very youngest to those in their more mature years – helping to make Merton a great place for families.
“It also provides vital services to help us bridge the gap between the east and west of the borough, and provide better life opportunities for everyone.”
The Voluntary Sector Funding Database for 2019/20 also shows more than £220,000 has been allocated to assist non-profit making organisations with discretionary rate relief on the properties they occupy.
These include a host of well-loved clubs and projects for children, sports facilities, community support groups and charities.
Notes for editors
The Voluntary Sector Funding Database has been published annually since 2011 as part of the council’s commitment to transparency.
Link to website www.merton.gov.uk/vs-funding