Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) has provided a funding boost to 17 community groups and voluntary organisations, helping vulnerable people who may also be experiencing disadvantage across the Portsmouth area.

The awards were granted from the Portsmouth City Community Fund and the Montagu Neville Durnford Fund – both managed by HIWCF. The funds aim to support a wide range of beneficiaries including young people, older people, those living with health and disability issues, and community projects. In this latest round of funding, grants totalling £65,492 were awarded to support community projects and services involved in areas such as disability, translation services, mental health, and advice and information services for the elderly.

Wessex Cancer Trust (pictured above) was awarded £4,022 for its Sing for Life Choir initiative that is currently running in Cosham. The choir is a therapeutic group that brings together those affected by cancer to provide relaxation, support and an opportunity to meet like-minded people. The group meets weekly and are open to anyone whose life is touched by cancer. Coralie, a member of the Cosham group said: “During my radiotherapy, I found that a happy song got me through my treatment. When you are scared it was really lovely to find new friends that could give you tremendous encouragement and support.”

Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association (Ted, pictured left) provides some of the best specialist services in the UK supporting development and education for people with Down Syndrome and offers training to assist families and professionals in providing effective support from the point of diagnosis. HIWCF awarded the organisation £5,000 to help their early years (0-4 years) intervention initiative to continue running. Director of Charity Services, Rachael Ross MBE said: “As a self-funding charity, we are delighted to receive this significant grant from HIWCF which will enable us to provide essential early intervention support for our pre-school children, helping them to reach their early milestones, prepare them for mainstream school and improve their life outcomes.”

Artscape, an independent arts-based charity in Portsmouth, was awarded £3,720 to support its provision of art workshops for those facing isolation due to poor health, disability, circumstance, bereavement and mental health issues.  The organisation has been delivering fun, socially inclusive art sessions for the last seventeen years. Mandie Molyneux, Artscape Director said: “We are delighted to have been awarded funds to set up a new project here in Portsmouth. This project will bring people together from different backgrounds to explore each other’s heritage, and the rich heritage of our own city, through a series of fun and interactive art, music and movement sessions, enabling connections to be made with each other and the city.”

Jacqui Scott CEO of HIWCF said: “This grant programme has enabled us to support a broad range of truly vibrant and vital projects across Portsmouth, which are specifically meeting the many different needs of vulnerable people across the city. We are committed to helping disadvantaged people in our communities and would encourage groups to visit our website – www.hiwcf.org.uk – as new funding rounds for grants across Hampshire are opening up shortly.”

 Other charities and community groups that were awarded grants include: 

Age UK Portsmouth £5,000.00
Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, c/o ASWC Portsmouth £2,520.00
Bivol Trust £1,760.00
Citizens Advice Bureau Portsmouth £5,000.00
City Life Church £4,400.00
Film Crew 4u CIC £1,655.00
Home-Start Portsmouth £5,000.00
John Pounds Community Trust £4,914.00
Motiv8 £4,941.00
Sparkle Lodge CIC £4,000.00
Tonic Music for Mental Health Ltd £4,260.00
Twirlys £500.00
MHA Communities Portsmouth & Havant £3,800.00
Spark Community Space £5,000.00