A RANGE of voluntary organisations and charities that look after and support older people, the vulnerable and their carers are to share in £1.4 million of grants.
Hampshire County Council is hoping to benefit up to 9,452 volunteers in its 2014/15 the Adult Services grants programme.
Recipients include organisations in Ringwood and Fordingbridge, and many covering the whole county.
The grants include £7,000 for Community First New Forest, which will use the money for a parenting forums facilitator.
The Fordingbridge & District Day Centre for the Frail and Housebound, held every Thursday, will get £1,000. Members are brought to the meeting by accessible bus, local minibus and use volunteer drivers who use their own cars.
The Rae Straton Luncheon Club in Fordingbridge will also get £1,000.
Brendoncare Clubs, which runs social clubs for older people including ones in both towns, is getting £108,000.
The Good Neighbours Support Service (GNSS), which includes the Bransgore Community Care Group, Burley Good Neighbours, Ringwood Good Neighbours, the Two Bridges Care Group for Fordingbridge, Sandleheath and Godshill and the Western Downland Care Group, which includes people from Damerham, Martin, Rockbourne and Whitsbury, will get £91,000.
The GNSS provides specialist development services including training, development, insurance, DBS checks, volunteer recruitment, marketing and helps set up new groups and services in response to local demand.
Groups operating countywide set to benefit are: Hampshire Autistic Society: £43,930 The Huntington's Disease Association: £4,600 The Stroke Association: £62,698.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation: £11,000
Age Concern Hampshire: £91,000 deafPLUS: £3,300
First Steps New Forest: (A group for adults from the local settled Gypsy community who have significant learning disabilities and emotional difficulties and live in rural isolation and poverty) £4,995
New Forest Mencap’s Brockenhurst Gateway Club art workshops: £1,000
The Groundswell Trust: (Outreach service for those affected by HIV) £16,000
Positive Action PA: (Social care services for those with HIV) £147,139 (£60,000 more than last year)
The council says the £1.4m allocated could provide benefits worth an extra £3 million in salary costs, based on each volunteer offering an hour a week for a year, at a national minimum wage of £6.31 per hour.
Councillor Liz Fairhurst, executive member for adult social care and public health, said: “These grants make a real difference to the organisations that receive them and the support they give to the community.
“This year there has been considerable pressure on our grants budget, which is oversubscribed at a time when all of our services are having to reduce their budgets.
“We are funding projects that are most closely linked to our aims, but have still been able to offer funding to new groups and those who have previously received a grant and have applied for funding this year.”