FENLANDER: Calls at Funder Fair for Fenland organisations to apply for available funding

FUNDING organisations have thousands of pounds available for community groups and they are keen to get more applications from Fenland.

This was made clear at the Fenland Funder Fair held at the Rosmini Centre in Wisbech a fortnight ago. It was organised by the Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service (CCVS) in partnership with Fenland District Council.

Ruth McCallum from CCVS stressed that they were keen to offer support, guidance and training to groups in Fenland – including advice on how to prepare grant bids.

Representatives from The Big Lottery Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN), the Cambridge Community Foundation and Fenland District Council outlined how their grants schemes operated and explained how groups could improve their chances of succeeding with their bids.

All sorts of projects could qualify for funding. Ed Hickman from the Big Lottery Fund said that those applying for money from its Awards for All scheme had a very good chance of success provided that they took care to ensure that they followed its clear guidelines for applicants.

Jonathan Latchford from the Heritage Lottery Fund said: “Fenland is an area that has traditionally received less money than others – that’s basically because fewer people apply.”

Ruth McCallum said groups seeking funding should direct their bids at organisations whose main aims coincided with theirs. “You have to convince them that your project can help them achieve their aims,” she said.

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Councillor Chris Seaton, FDC’s deputy leader and portfolio holder responsible for community grants, said: “Community and voluntary groups already make a huge contribution to life in Fenland but there is always more they could do if they have the right resources.

“So we are delighted to be working with CCVS both to try and secure much-needed funding and to help groups gain the skills they need to thrive.”

• CCVS holds monthly advice surgeries in Fenland. For details, call 01223 464696. FDC can also advise groups on applying for funding. Contact its community development team on 01354 654321.

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