Making A Real Difference To Local Communities
The eight East Suffolk Community Partnerships were established as an innovative way for East Suffolk Council, partners and communities to work together to focus on specific issues in their neighbourhoods and ‘bring ideas to life’.
Since its creation, the Felixstowe Peninsula Community Partnership has allocated a total of £29,560 in funding to local projects which make a difference to the people who live there by addressing local priorities, including isolation and loneliness, mental health and emotional wellbeing, physical health, financial hardship and educational attainment.
The Friends of Felixstowe Library were able to refurbish its Children’s Area after receiving £5,000 from the Community Partnership alongside funding from East Suffolk Council’s Enabling Communities Budget, Felixstowe Town Council, Suffolk County Council Locality Budget, Suffolk Libraries and through its own fundraising.
This included adding new flooring, shelving and storage, a hideaway reading den and specialist display tables which can be enjoyed by babies, toddlers, children and students, and will provide a location for many events, such as the Summer Reading Challenge.
Sarah Wilson, Chair of Friends of Felixstowe Library, said: “The Friends of Felixstowe Library would like to send a heartfelt thank you to the Felixstowe Peninsula Community Partnership for their support. This project would not have been possible without the generosity of the organisations who have provided the funding package to enable this project to take place.”
Meanwhile, in another project tackling educational attainment, the Community Partnership allocated £5,000 to the Felixstowe School Library Project alongside funding from East Suffolk Council’s Enabling Communities Budget and through its own fundraising. This enabled the school to buy new reading books as well as some specialist reading items, such as audio books and devices, headphones, large PC screens and new furniture.
In addition, the school is now able to put on extra reading clubs and intervention programmes, which will target specific groups of students. To support this, 2 Learning Support Assistants will be paid for an additional hour.
To further enable local voluntary and community groups to deliver projects which address local priorities and benefit the wider community, the Community Partnership has also launched a Small Grant Scheme, which offers grants between £250 and £2,000. Some the projects which have received funding through the scheme so far include:
- The Bucklesham Bumps, Babies and Toddler Group received £1,650 to set up a social group for pre-school children and their parents to help address social isolation and loneliness, as well as mental and physical health and wellbeing in expectant and new parents.
- A further £1,500 was allocated to improve digital inclusion during and after projects, such as ‘Christmas in a box’ and ‘Gifts of Joy’ run by the Felixstowe Salvation Army, ‘Mental Health Packs’ by Emmaus, and more recently, ‘EAST bags’ by East Suffolk Council, which all have a digital element to them such as DVD’s and CD’s.
- Langer Primary School received £2,530 to provide half-term activities aimed at the school’s most vulnerable students, who will be able to invite a friend to join them. The project provides parents and carers with respite during the holidays and provide a safe environment for vulnerable children, ensuring that the children will receive support from safeguarding trained staff if necessary.
For more information about the scheme, including full details about eligibility and how to apply, go to www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/community/community-partnerships/community-partnership-small-grant-schemes/
Mark Jepson, Chair of the Felixstowe Peninsula Community Partnership, said: “I am really proud of just how much we have achieved in the Felixstowe Peninsula Community Partnership’s first year. This really demonstrates just what is possible when we take a local approach to local priorities to do positive things in our communities that makes a real difference to the people who live there.”
For more information about the East Suffolk Community Partnerships, go to www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/community/community-partnerships/