Fresh funding for voluntary sector

In a drive to protect and support the local voluntary sector, Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council has formally agreed to enhance the amount it allocates to local charities and organisations by £395,000 this year.

The decision, which was made at a cabinet meeting last night (Monday, 1 September), will also see a further £225,000 for the Third Sector next year.

The move represents a 13% increase in funding for the sector – instead of a 9.5% reduction that was previously planned – and comes at a time when the council is successfully delivering savings across its overall budget.

Cllr Sue Fennimore, H&F Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, said: "In many cases charities and voluntary groups are the organisations best placed to provide important local services to residents effectively and efficiently – so it is clear to us that protecting and enhancing the Third Sector should be a high priority.

"Across the borough we are fortunate to have a wide variety of inspirational voluntary sector organisations that have a deep understanding of local communities and they work incredibly hard to help improve the lives of thousands of people – young and old and from all walks of life. They really are a lifeline for so many and we hope this funding will ensure that this remains the case."

The voluntary groups that will be funded provide services across the board, including youth projects, support for older people, employment support, homelessness advice, community safety, environmental projects, public health, arts, culture and sport and specialist support for people who are disabled.

Chief Executive Age UK Hammersmith and Fulham, Dawn Stephenson, said: "Age UK Hammersmith and Fulham has been supported by the council with funding for many years. The Third Sector Investment fund helps us to make a difference to the life of older people and their carers. We are delighted that there has been additional funding earmarked for the third sector. The voluntary sector in Hammersmith and Fulham plays a significant role in supporting, informing and engaging local people by providing a wide ranges of services and activities that add value to the social and economic quality of life of residents.

The funding increase means that more than 54 voluntary organisations in H&F are due to share a total budget of £3,623,000 in 2015/16.

You can read the Third Sector investment funding report online . To find out which charity and voluntary organisations successfully applied for council funding this year, click on one of the following categories (all links open pdf files):