Mixed News for Borough's Voluntary Groups

Anger at council decision - but good news for some

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There has been mixed news for Hammersmith and Fulham's voluntary and community groups in the last week. While some were devastated to discover their funding has been removed as part of the council's cost-cutting policies, others breathed a sigh of relief as their funding for the next year was agreed.

H & F Council's Cabinet agreed an overall allocation of £4.2 million in the year 201//11 to the local voluntary sector, a reduction of £158,000.

35 organisations were awarded a total of £2.6 million, including 14 receiving financial support for the first time. A second round of funding will allocate another £1.6 million later in the year.

Amongst the groups receiving their first funding are the Banooda Aid Foundation (£16,000), who run a supplementary school, mainly for Somali children. The Alzheimer’s Society was awarded £38,000 and Standing Together Against Domestic Violence received £30,000.

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau received the biggest slice of cash (£318,263) and the 18 month old H&F Credit Union was awarded £31,500. The Challenge Network, which aims to inspire young people to volunteer and is seen as a pioneeer for the government's proposed national citizenship scheme received £112,500.

Some organisations, such as the Citizen's Advice Bureau, HAFAD and Bishop Creighton House in Lillie Road had some applications for funding accepted and others refused.

The successful groups, and the amounts allocated to them are:

CaVSA £162,000
Community Accountancy Self Help (CASH) £40,000
H&F Volunteer Centre £120,000
HAFAD £10,000
Urban Partnership Group £48,000
Retender: BME/Refugee voice/network £20,000
Retender: social enterprise support £32,000
Retender: premises support £32,000
Banooda Aid Foundation (BAF) £16,000
Barnardo's (SEone Service) £55,000
Brunswick Club - Brunswick Juniors £20,000
Brunswick Club - Motivate £22,000
Catholic Children's Society £10,000
Challenge Network £112,500
Doorstep Library Network £40,000
Family Action Family Action £50,000
H&F Mencap £40,000
H&F Urban Studies Centre £15,000
QPR in the Community Trust £40,000
Sands End Associated Project £50,000
Standing Together Against Domestic Violence £30,000
Urban Partnership Group £30,000
West London Action for Children £45,000
Fulham Legal Advice Centre £32,500
H&F Citizens Advice Bureau £318,263
H&F Credit Union £31,500
St Paul's Centre £149,500
Tendis Ltd £180,000
Third Age Foundation £30,000
ESF (European Social Fund) £50,000
Business Partnerships and Enterprise £78,013
Age Concern £170,000
Alzheimer's Society £38,000
Asian Health Agency £28,000
Bishop Creighton House £75,000
Fulham Good Neighbour Service £38,000
Irish Support & Advice Service £38,000
Nubian Life Resource Centre £58,000
Urban Partnership Group £48,000
West & North West London Vietnamese Association £25,520

However, the groups turned down for funding were:

Bishop Creighton House, CITAS, Firsthand Ltd, Grove Neighbourhood Centre, H&F BME Network, H&F Refugee Forum, Harmony Community Day Nursery, Minaret Community Centre, Play Association H&F, Pre-School Learning Alliance, Tendis Ltd, Townmead Youth Club, Active Planet, Afghan Council UK, Albert & Friends Instant Circus, Breakway Holiday Project, Community Advocacy Services, Goldseal Project, HAFAD, Hammersmith Gardens Community Association, Horn of Africa, Notting Hill Housing Trust, Outside Chance, Shepherd's Bush Families Project, Sir John Lillie Play Centre, Vince Hines Foundation, Vital Regeneration, Breakthrough Deaf & Hearing Intergration, Eastern European Advice Centre, FLAC, H&F Citizens Advice Bureau, H&F Law Centre, Iranian Association, Bosnia & Herzegovina Community Advice, H&F Community Transport Project and Rampage.

Details of the applications and the reasons for the Council's decisions can be found in the Cabinet meeting's agenda.

Some of these and other community groups have also been hit by the news that their premises, including Palingswick House in Hammersmith, which is home to 21 different groups, the Village Hall in Shepherd's Bush and Sands End Community Centre in Fulham may be sold to pay off council debts. The council says that sale of nine under-used buildings could raise £20 million.

Bruce Marquart, a member of the tenants' advisory group at Palingswick House, sys: " W
e are not naive and we realise there is lots of competition for council funding in these tough times. Less than two per cent of our funding comes from Government sources so we will survive.

" The bigger issue is what the council is proposing on Palingswick House. If they do sell it, we want a commitment from them that they will sell it to someone – like a charitable trust – who will maintain the building’s 150 year history of saving lives and providing voluntary services to the community. "

42 community groups have also been awarded £100,000 worth of small grants under the council’s Fast Track grants scheme, and the council says it is pursuing additional sources of external funding for the voluntary sector and hopes to have a positive announcement imminently.

July 22, 2010