Ahead of launching a new Winter Connections programme, Renfrewshire Council has re-opened its grant funding to support community groups and voluntary organisations to put on activities from October to March.

Winter Connections is a network of local places and spaces across Renfrewshire that are open to everyone and guarantee a warm welcome, where people can connect and come together during the winter months.

The £85,000 fund is open to local groups and organisations who can offer a community venue, run an activity, or would like to open up their existing activities as part of Winter Connections.

Groups and organisations can apply for up to £2,000 to cover costs such as energy, providing food, staffing or cleaning.

However, the fund is not open to groups arranging one-off activities or events, or projects that charge people for taking part.

Councillor Jacqueline Cameron, depute leader of Renfrewshire Council and chair of the Fairer Renfrewshire sub-committee, said: “Winter Connections brought people together last year in a positive way and that was thanks to hard work and efforts of our community groups and voluntary organisations.

“With the cost-of-living crisis continuing, it’s important we continue to put on free activities across the area that can help people come together during the cold winter months and reduce isolation.

“Last year, the programme helped people to socialise, learn new skills and get advice and support if they needed it. Together with our amazing community and voluntary organisations, we will create a new Winter Connections programme and will launch it shortly.”

Projects applying to the fund should be:

  • open, free and easy to access
  • inclusive, welcoming, respectful and safe
  • able to offer warm drinks/snacks/food along with activities, where possible
  • able or willing to provide connections to other services and supports.

Applicants must also have a written constitution, bank account and be able to demonstrate an understanding of what their local community currently needs.

Awards will be made from the beginning of October, and the fund will remain open until all available funding has been used. However, anyone applying for funding is encouraged to get their applications in as quickly as possible.

Any grant received from the fund must be spent by the end of March 2024.

To apply, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/winter-connections.

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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