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Making a difference with Funding

by Michael Ford last modified 31 Jul, 2020 05:22 PM

12 projects across the Diocese of Salisbury will be the recipients of the latest round of small grants from the Salisbury Diocesan Social Welfare Fund and the St Mary’s Fund.

Making a difference with Funding

Courtesy poolefoodbank on Facebook

The trustees of the 2 charities met this week and agreed to fund applications covering projects dealing with holiday hunger, support for single parents over the summer, a new community hub, a farm-based programme for families in crisis, a new centre for people who are homeless, and 7 foodbanks.

Most of the grants are for £500, relatively small in the world of grant-making but enough to make a real difference for local groups supported by our parishes.

Poole Foodbank is moving to St James' Church in the town centre, hoping that a new hub will provide a welcoming and safe place for people to visit and gain access to information and advice as well as food. Wimborne Foodbank will be providing activity packs through the summer holidays for local families and also hopes to offer support with school uniforms.

Blandford Foodbank is on the move, needing larger premises to meet increased referrals as well as space for information on managing finances.

As well as distributing food parcels, the foodbank in the Warminster area also maintains a stock of sleeping bags and other items that enable people living on the streets to keep safe and warm. Meanwhile in Calne, the foodbank is moving to larger premises and will need shelving and other storage equipment.

The parish of St John in Upper Studley on the edge of Trowbridge is planning to open up some rooms as a community hub providing a relaxed space to meet people as well as offering support from trained volunteers with applications for benefits.

Colin Brady, who advises the trustees, remarked on the range of need being addressed by local foodbanks:

“It’s very encouraging to see how some of our smaller foodbanks are responding to the needs they see in their own communities. Of course they provide food and need our continuing support in maintaining supplies, but they have also been looking at the gap that is left when free school meals aren’t available, and support for people in financial difficulty and for people living on the streets reflects the willingness of volunteers to tackle the big issues in their areas.”

Salisbury Diocesan Social Welfare Fund and the St Mary’s Fund are independent charities with income from historical assets related to church-related social action across the Diocese. The Social Welfare Fund also supports the chaplaincy to Gypsies and Travellers, while the St Mary’s Fund can respond to referrals from clergy, church workers, and other professionals, to provide grants for single parent families in times of difficulty.

Colin added:

“Obviously we will never have enough money to meet every need in the area, but we have good relationships with other funders, and will stretch our resources as far as possible especially at this time of crisis when many of our projects are being stretched beyond every expectation.”

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