Local organisations can do their bit to help the armed forces community with the launch of a new fund worth £10 million by the Ministry of Defence.
As part of the national Covenant Fund, small grants worth £20,000 and larger ones up to £500,000 will be available for projects to help service personnel, veterans and anyone with a connection to the armed forces living around Cambridgeshire.
The scheme will have 4 broad funding themes now and in future years, which aims to help and support servicemen in different areas of their life. These include: removing barriers to family life; extra support after service for those that need help; measures to integrate military and civilian communities and allow the armed forces community to participate as citizens; and non-core healthcare services for veterans.
These themes will shape the fund, and annual priorities will ensure it remains relevant and current. For 2015/16 these priorities will be projects that support:
· local armed forces community integration projects
· the coordination and delivery of support to the armed forces community
· veterans in the criminal justice system.
To address the priorities, the scheme will make funding available for:
1. small grants up to £20,000, primarily for community integration projects. Organisations can apply now, with a deadline of Thursday 17 September. The deadline for the second round will be before the end of Thursday 17 December.
2. large grants up to £500,000, for more strategic, higher impact projects (one round this year) which can be applied for now with a deadline of Thursday 24 September.
Registered charities, Community Interest Companies and statutory organisations, like local councils, can apply. Community organisations, partnerships and some social enterprises cannot apply but can be partners to those organisations that are eligible. For more details and to apply see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covenant-fund-guidance-on-how-to-apply
Decisions on both small and large grants will be made by a national panel based on the recommendations of regional panels. Locally, the fund is supported by the Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Community Covenant (Military) Board, which aims to encourage local communities to support the armed forces community in their area.
Cambridgeshire County Councillor Mac McGuire, Chairman of the Cambridgeshire Community Covenant (Military) Board, said: “Those servicemen and women in need have often sacrificed themselves for our country and to protect others and by doing so can become vulnerable themselves. The Covenant Fund is a great opportunity for local organisations to do their bit to support the armed forces communities across Cambridgeshire. I’d encourage local organisations who can to apply.”