A charity that supports people with brain injuries is keen to encourage community groups to apply for a grant from Chelmsford City Council’s community fund. The discretionary grant is only open for applications in October.

Headway Essex says an award can make a big difference in enabling an organisation to deliver its service. The charity successfully applied for a discretionary grant from Chelmsford City Council in October 2020. Now it is urging other groups to make sure they don’t miss the October 31 deadline for applications.  

Disretionary grant support for vulnerable people

The council’s community funding scheme has three types of award that are available to eligible community groups, charities and social enterprises. The discretionary grant can offer funding for upkeep and running costs with small grants up to £10,000. The focus of the discretionary grant is on supporting vulnerable people resident in Chelmsford. 

Headway’s mission is to ensure that everyone in Essex living with an acquired brain injury can live a fulfilling life and that families and carers are better able to cope within their caring roles.

Grant helped provide caseworker

The funding helped it to provide a brain injury caseworker who was able to support 25 individuals in the Chelmsford area over the year of the grant. The caseworker helped them to navigate through life after brain injury and support them to live a full and meaningful life.

Jo Hockey, Trusts and Grants manager at Headway explained that the award was vital during the Covid pandemic in ensuring service users’ basic needs were met as a particularly vulnerable client group during that period.

Ensuring they had access to food, benefits and medicine was a priority. We also switched our support groups to virtual meetings over the Zoom platform, which helped to ensure people felt less alone and isolated. The caseworker also made regular welfare calls to each service user to ensure they were safe and there were no safeguarding issues.

Jo Hockey, Trusts and Grants manager at Headway

The charity’s service users were certainly very appreciative of the support. Some comments included:

“Just the knowledge that “you’re not alone” is the supportive comment that is sometimes needed in the dark long hours.”

“Headway means an awful lot to me. I look forward to our Zoom meetings. I don’t know what I would do without them.”

There is a range of wonderful groups who work to bring benefits for the residents of Chelmsford, but some may not be aware they could apply for a grant from Chelmsford City Council.

But don’t delay. The deadline for applications for the discretionary grant  is midnight 31 October. If you are involved with a community group you can find out about applying here: Community funding scheme – Chelmsford City Council

I’m so pleased our grant was able to support this wonderful charity. In Essex, every 58 minutes, somebody is admitted to hospital with an acquired brain injury. The grant made a big difference for service users.

Please take a look at our website – don’t miss the chance to put in your application, by the end of October.

Cllr Marie Goldman, Cabinet Member for Connected Chelmsford

Further details about grants are available on the Community Funding Scheme pages on the Chelmsford City Council website. You will find guidance and eligibility criteria and you can make an online application.

For advice on the discretionary fund, you can contact the CVS at cfsfunding@chelmsfordcvs.org.uk or by calling 01245 351888.

By Charlotte Maltby

Charlotte writes stories about recycling and waste, parks, economic development, local democracy and planning.

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