19
November
2014
|
00:00
Europe/London

Community groups and charities benefit from social inclusion fund


Issued in partnership with the Leeds Community Foundation



Local community groups and charities that are helping tackle social inclusion in Leeds have been awarded a share of almost £50,000.



Thousands of local people will benefit from a number of grants which have been awarded to the charities and local community groups, as part of the Social Inclusion Small Grants Scheme, which was launched by Leeds City Council, and managed by Leeds Community Foundation (LCF).



Some of the local groups who received grants include:

• Together Women, which will be launching the “Money Mentor Project” training up volunteer mentors to provide 1-1 support to women who need help and advice around budgeting, debt management and general financial awareness.

• Project Hope, which are focusing on helping young unemployed adults back to work through a structured volunteering programme whereby unemployed people can have “taster placement” in a volunteering role so they can develop new skills and self-confidence.

• BARCA Leeds, whose project will target socially isolated young men in an area of Leeds with the highest rate of suicide in an attempt to have a significant impact on reducing the figures and providing them with a more accessible support mechanism.



Speaking about the scheme, Councillor Keith Wakefield leader of Leeds City Council said: “We know the third sector can provide innovative solutions to tackle local social issues and we are pleased to have been able to invest £50,000 in this small grants programme. Our main aim was to support a number of activities that focus on social inclusion, especially those helping people who are financially and economically excluded. The scheme has allowed us to deliver this, by supporting projects that will look to reduce poverty in Leeds by tackling social, financial and economic issues.”



The Fund was managed by Leeds Community Foundation (LCF), the city’s largest independent grant-maker, who provided guidance and support to an expert panel who reviewed all the applications and took decisions as to the allocation of funding. Speaking about the process, LCF Chief Executive, Sally-Anne Greenfield said: “We were impressed by the range of activity that is taking place throughout the city and were pleased to be able to make eight grant awards. We look forward to measuring the impact of their work in this difficult area to see what new solutions can be found.”

The Social Inclusion Small Grants Scheme was created using funds generated by the large casino licence awarded to Global Gaming Ventures (GGV), which will be develop as part of the Victoria Gate development in Leeds.



-ENDS-



For media enquiries please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council communications: 0113 2474713 or email emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk.



Kirsty McKinnon, Leeds Community Foundation: 0113 242 2426 (kirsty@leedscf.org.uk)



NOTES TO EDITOR:




Leeds Community Foundation was established in Leeds in 2005, the organisation has raised millions of pounds and distributed over £22m to local groups. Our goal is to create a healthier, happier Leeds where hardship and inequality are words of the past and where grassroots projects can blossom. We connect those who care passionately about Leeds and its people. We form partnerships between community groups that are making a difference and the people who wish to invest in a better future for our city.



Definitions

• Financial exclusion is a lack of access to mainstream banking or affordable credit. The consequence of this is that people who do not have access are forced to use alternative providers such as high cost or doorstep lenders, money shops, pawn brokers and illegal loan sharks. This leaves people vulnerable to falling into un-manageable debt, struggling to pay essential bills or pay for food, causing anxiety, stress and being trapped into poverty. Financial inclusion initiatives help people to manage their finances better through encouraging the use of more affordable sources such as a credit union, maximise their incomes through welfare rights advice and manage their debts through budgeting and effective money management support.



• Economic exclusion occurs when there is a lack of access to the labour market and good jobs, either due to low wages, or not being able to access the relevant skills or training. Economic inclusion activities would therefore be the sort of activities that support people into work, or provide training, improve skills, or create job opportunities and initiatives to remove barriers to work readiness e.g. deal with debt problems.