A plan for closer working between the council and the voluntary and community sector in Croydon so more organisations can access council funding and advice has been launched.
Croydon Council supports voluntary and community organisations across the borough with funding totalling around £3m a year, including subsidies and other benefits such as access to lower-cost office space and wider support and advice.
These groups are all not-for-profit organisations with a social conscience that work to improve their local communities through support, prevention and intervention, and include faith groups, co-operatives, registered charities, school groups and sports clubs.
The new voluntary and community sector strategy sets out the outcomes the council wants to achieve through working in partnership with grassroots organisations – including people living longer, healthier and more independent lives, improving their career prospects, making them feel safer in their local area, and valuing the borough’s arts, sports and culture.
As part of its new commissioning process and following engagement with over 200 voluntary and community organisations, the council has reviewed how it goes about providing funding to the sector. The council will create a simpler application process for each size and type of funding bid.
The plan is also designed to more closely match the needs of voluntary and community organisations on everything from networking to financial advice and how to bid for new business.
The council has invited voluntary and community organisations to a series of engagement events that will shape the new approach before the commissioning process starts. The council will also hold support sessions so local groups are informed about the new commissioning process and can ask questions before applying by October for funding between 2020 and 2023.
“Croydon’s voluntary and community sector is one of our strongest assets and collectively they do an amazing job in our communities, and this plan is about how we can work even more closely with them as an equal partner to support our residents, especially those who need it most.
“Unlike other councils and despite progressive Government cuts, we are increasing our investment in our voluntary and community sector, and I encourage organisations to come forward to take part in the commissioning process for the council’s Community Fund.”
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities