Charities and community groups across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have been given a huge funding boost this month, with grants totalling £347,357 awarded to 44 organisations from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF). 

Grants of up to £5,000 were awarded from the Including Communities Fund to support organisations working to improve the lives of people who are facing multiple levels of disadvantage, for example through poor mental health, illness or disability and larger strategic grants of £5,000 – £15,000 were awarded to support organisations led by or working with people from disadvantaged groups. 

Jacqui Scott, CEO of HIWCF said: “HIWCF and our donors were particularly interested in funding activities that work to directly address inequality in our communities. We are delighted that this latest round of grants is distributed amongst groups working to improve multiple facets of life – and where people can experience real disadvantage – for example in physical and mental wellbeing, race and ethnicity, sexuality and gender issues, and physical and learning disabilities. Our partners and donors understand the importance of bringing communities together and the Including Communities Fund will go a long way to significantly impact the people whom these services work with directly.” 

One of the groups that benefitted from a grant of £38,000 is Life Changes Counselling based in Southampton. Philip Meakins, Chair of trustees said: “Life Changes Counselling has for 17 years provided counselling for the Southampton area using voluntary counsellors in their final year of training. Increasing demand and complexity of presentation has meant that we have for some time been looking at ways of expanding our work to meet these challenges by paying our alumni so that they stay with us for longer after qualifying. Our 3-year development grant from HIWCF will enable us to make this transition to paying our alumni in a planned, protected way, and give our clients a better service.” 

Blue Apple Theatre (pictured above) is a creative company that supports performers with learning disabilities to develop theatre, dance, singing and film productions from its base in Winchester. The not-for-profit was awarded £29,850 to develop a 3-year pilot of outreach activities. Daisy Robinson, Development Lead said: “Blue Apple uses the performing arts to empower people with learning disabilities. This funding enables us to expand the opportunities to access and participate in the arts by delivering sessions in more areas across Hampshire with a focus on areas of deprivation and cultural diversity.” 

Smaller grants will also make a big difference to the planned service delivery of charities such as Eastleigh Borough & Romsey Mencap, who received £1,900. Richard Peck, Operations Manager for the branch said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive news of our grant award. The award is earmarked for a collaboration project with A Space Arts in Southampton which aims to help our members to communicate while involving them in arts and culture activities.” 

We encourage communities groups throughout Hampshire and the Isle of wight to connect with us by joining our mailing list, or following @HIWCF on social media to be alerted to new grants as and when they become available.