£136k Grant Boost for Community Health & Wellbeing

Little boy in a cooking workshop, holding up spring onions
Growing Local Family Cook Workshops will be supported by the Fund

Twelve local charities and community groups are benefiting from an injection of funding – totalling £136,363 – thanks to the new Herefordshire Together Fund.  

Awarded to initiatives all over the county, the Herefordshire Together grants range from £1000 to £20,000. They have been awarded to support impactful initiatives which reach families in need, improve emotional wellbeing and community cohesion.  Distributed by Herefordshire Community Foundation and supported by Healthwatch Herefordshire, the Fund is made possible by Public Health at Herefordshire Council and is part of Hereford’s community paradigm shift where the focus is on funding community-led prevention solutions.

Christine Price, Chief Officer, Healthwatch Herefordshire, explains the thinking behind Herefordshire Together, “ As a county, we are leading the way in focusing on funding community-led prevention solutions. For instance, we know that loneliness and isolation affects all age groups and that increasing our community connection can enhance our sense of belonging and have a positive impact on our emotional wellbeing, as well as our life expectancy.  We are pleased to be working with Herefordshire Community Foundation to deliver this innovative programme of funding and will be tracking the impact over the course of the next 12 months and beyond.”

Bridie Sullivan, Chief Executive at Herefordshire Community Foundation continues, “ Community groups operate at a grassroots level, tapping into local needs and understanding where they can make the biggest difference. The grants will be supporting all ages from the very young through to the elderly, tackling everything from loneliness and homelessness through to bereavement and bullying.”

Councillor Carole Gandy, cabinet member adults, health and wellbeing at Herefordshire Council said: “I’m delighted we are working with Herefordshire Community Foundation and voluntary sector partners to look at creative ways to improve the wellbeing of our residents. Through these fantastic projects, support will reach residents  and communities who need it the most.”

The funding will enable Open Arms Kington to employ a Community Engagement Worker to help tackle issues of rural isolation whilst Ross-on-Wye Community Development Trust will have its core costs supported  and  continue its Ross Good Neighbours project which connects vulnerable and isolated people with services such as befriending and shopping. 

The grant will help Home-Start Herefordshire offer its county-wide, personalised befriending service to struggling families and enable @The Hub CIC in Ross-on-Wye to extend and develop their work to create a more resilient community sector.

Hereford Nature Through Nurture CIC will use the grant to support their work with young families experiencing adverse childhood experiences whilst Growing Local CIC will be funded to  deliver their programme of Family Cook Workshops and Children’s Garden Workshops.

Meanwhile, the local branch of Age UK will develop its pop-up Shed project which helps bring together remote communities and West Mercia Rape & Sexual Advice Support Centre will provide specialist, long term counselling support to those in need in Herefordshire. 

Hope Support Services, which works with children and young people from the moment of a loved one’s serious diagnosis, through and beyond bereavement, will launch a new youth support group and host two county-wide Family Days.  And, Connexus Homes will use the grant to establish a community kitchen and garden initiative with a particular focus on supporting young homeless people.

Finally, the grant will help Hereford Community Farm CIC to fund a part – time Community Engagement Lead to extend its work locally and enable the Arts and Crafts Community Centre in the Golden Valley to train volunteers and purchase equipment in order to expand its offer to the community.