As the second round of Community Business Renewal Fund opens tomorrow, 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 opens for applications at 10am on Tuesday 12 January and closes at 4pm on Tuesday 19 January. For more information, including the guidance notes, a link to watch the latest webinar and frequently asked questions, please see the fund webpage.
Aspiring Futures CIC, Wolverhampton
Aspiring Futures are a community-based, women-led organisation that are often a preferred entry point for vulnerable women looking for counselling, information, advice, guidance, befriending and more. With the aim of supporting women to ‘aspire for better’, Aspiring Futures provide a range of holistic services that will enhance quality of life, increase economic and career prospects and improve health and well-being. They have found that women, particularly BAME* women, have been disproportionately impacted by COVID.
Through the pandemic, demand for their support services has increased, and along with new ways of operating, this has put pressure on existing staffing capacity which is not sustainable in the longer term.
Covid-19 has led to increased hygiene compliance costs, as well as additional tech equipment for staff working from home and additional staff time to respond to increased demand for support and services. The grant from Community Business Renewal Fund will go towards staffing costs and the resources to meet their additional working requirements through the pandemic.
Anfield Sports and Community Centre, Liverpool
Anfield Sports and Community Centre are committed to providing sports, educational and creative opportunities for everyone. They actively promote mental and physical well-being to help others gain confidence in their own abilities in a safe, friendly and fun environment.
At the multi-purpose Sports and Community Centre, they provide clubs and classes, gym and fitness, family support groups, and even a community café. They offer a range of activities for local young people aged between 5 and 25, helping to build their confidence, gain new skills and make friends.
In March, at the start of lockdown, the Community Centre closed and, together with a local food bank, they repurposed their main hall to build a community food packing and distribution hub supporting crisis food management for vulnerable families in the community.
Much of Anfield Sports and Community Centre’s income came from the services they have been unable to offer through lockdown. They will be using the grant from Community Business Renewal Fund to help cover fixed costs and loss of income from using their car park for paid parking to support Liverpool Football Club Fixtures. The grant will also support Anfield Sports and Community Centre to operate a Covid-19 secure site with enhanced cleaning measures as well as ensuring the venue is compliant for reduced capacity group activities when they are able to open again.
* We are reviewing all of the language we used with the aim of becoming a more inclusive organisation.