Partnership with Dorset Community Foundation helps BCP Council support communities and struggling families

Two funds will support community buildings, volunteering and effects of cost of living crisis

Partnership with Dorset Community Foundation helps BCP Council support communities and struggling families

DORSET Community Foundation is working in partnership with BCP Council through two funds aimed at helping people improve their communities and supporting groups and charities tackling the fallout from the cost of living crisis.

The BCP Thriving Communities Fund has been supported by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund as part of the government’s Levelling Up agenda and is offering two different kinds of grants. It will make grants of up to £5,000 to community groups delivering impactful volunteering or social action projects and activities, within BCP, that improve lives.

Grants manager Ellie Maguire said: “We aim to award grants that will foster a sense of local pride and belonging, and support community-led projects.”

The fund’s second priority is community buildings and will offer grants of up to £2,000 to support small capital improvements for eligible community groups and charities in BCP that provide facilities for community-led groups and activities – including community centres, hubs or village halls.

Mrs Maguire added: “In their application it will be important for groups to describe the kinds of community groups and activities that take place and how they support the needs in their community.

“This might be by addressing isolation and loneliness, improving health and wellbeing, offering opportunities for life-long learning or opportunities for social connectivity and support.”

The fund is open now and applications close on June 23. The fund will reopen for applications early next year.

The BCP Food and Energy Support Fund, supported by the government’s Household Support Fund, will offer grants of up to £15,000 to groups and charities who support BCP households impacted by the rising cost of living.

Mrs Maguire said: “The scheme is intended to cover a wide range of support for vulnerable and low income households in the most need of support, including families with children of all ages, pensioners, unpaid carers, care leavers and disabled people. Grant funded activities should meet immediate needs and help those who are struggling to afford energy and water bills, food, and other related essentials.”

The grants will be for work carried out between July 21 and March 31, 2024. The fund will be open again for a second round of applications for grants of up to £7,500 in the autumn.

Dorset Community Foundation director Grant Robson said he is delighted to be working with the council again. “We’ve supported BCP Council through each of the three previous rounds of the Household Support Fund and have been able to assist in getting vital money to grass roots groups and charities doing really important work with people who are struggling in these tough times.

“Because of our in-depth knowledge of the area, and our ability to tailor this grant programme so that it exactly meets the needs of groups and charities, we are ensuring this funding makes the maximum impact.”

Find out more about eligibility and how to apply at

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