As the third and final round of Community Business Renewal Fund has now opened, we take a look at some of the community businesses successfully offered grants through the first round of the fund, back in November 2020.
If you are thinking of applying, the fund closes at 4pm on Tuesday 9 March. For more information, including the guidance notes, a link to watch the latest webinar and frequently asked questions, please see the fund webpage.
Middle Street Resource Centre, Beeston, Nottingham
Middle Street Resource Centre is a community-based organisation that supports local people living with mental health issues. The centre provides group sessions for people to attend, which are led by individuals who have lived mental health issues, supported by mental health support workers. The centre is also home to a cafe and a garden centre, which are both managed by a group of loyal and dedicated volunteers.
Local organisations benefit from hiring out rooms at the centre, such as a choir, the local slimming group and a memory café that supports people with dementia and their carers.
The centre supports around 300 service users in the local area and during the pandemic they have seen an increasing number of referrals from the local GP’s Mental Health Team asking for their support.
The grant they received from the Community Business Renewal Fund will help to cover the loss of income from room hire and café trade during the pandemic, which helps fund the costs of paying core staff costs such as their mental health support workers.
Ware Arts Centre, Hertfordshire
Housed in a building dating back to the 1800’s, Ware Arts Centre based in Hertfordshire, is an ‘inclusive diverse community building’, which provides an artistic outlet for local people. The centre provides room space for locals to organise arts and wellbeing classes and courses. The centre also hosts many other events around music, theatre, comedy, cinema, and multi-cultural exhibitions and is home to number of community groups, including the local operatic society, poetry, and a local dementia group who support adults with learning disabilities, who would overwise be isolated.
Since the start of the pandemic the building has had to be mainly closed. As a result of this they created a ‘Lockdown lounge’ online for local people to share projects they had created during lockdown, such a creative writing, poetry, and craftwork.
They have also delivered numerous craft activity packs to the local community to keep people busy and run multiple online activities and classes.
The grant they received from the Community Business Renewal Fund will help the organisation complete work in and around the building so they can welcome back their local community, particularly the old and vulnerable, post-Covid. It will also help them provide technology to vulnerable local people, so they are able to participate in online workshops and training provided by the centre.
* We are reviewing all of the language we used with the aim of becoming a more inclusive organisation.