Managed by the Community Development Foundation Supported by HM Government’s Office for Civil Society, Community First is an England-wide programme which has run for nearly 4 years. Two funds of money, worth £80m, have been created to help communities come together, become more resilient, and make their local area a better place to live. The funding comes to an end in March 2015
Each eligible Birmingham Ward had the opportunity to apply for this community funding scheme. Each ward had a Community First Panel, made up of 4 to 8 local people who would represent their community to produce a Community First Plan and to recommend local projects/activities for funding. Panel members were all volunteers and no individual received any financial advantage for their work.
It was also necessary to identify and work with a Panel Partner, who were able to offer support and advice to the panel and ensure that all was fully accountable and transparent in carrying out their responsibilities. Acocks Green Ward Panel received excellent support throughout this period from the Birmingham based Chamberlain Forum who were also a member of the panel. The Acocks Green Community First Panel was ably chaired and administered by Jon Morris of Fox Hollies Neighbourhood Forum with support from the Chamberlain Forum and panel members. They were collectively responsible and facilitated near £90,000 funding being made available for local community organisations over the 4 years. The Neighbourhood Forum are very grateful to the team of volunteers involved for this valued and much-appreciated work, on behalf of the community of Acocks Green. To give you an example of some of the organisations that received support from the Community First funding, here are just a few of the beneficiaries:
- Friends Community Centre
- Fox Hollies Skills Club
- Acocks Green Carnival
- Sport 4 Life
- House of Play and Education
- Churches Together Acocks Green
- Jericho Job Club
- Westley Vale Millennium Green
- Acocks Green Focus Group
- 219th Birmingham Scout Group
- C de Vision
- Gospel Oak Community Centre
- Acocks Green Village in Bloom
- From Zero to Hero Steering Group
Many of our local organisations, working with dedication and passion for the local community, rely upon external funding such as Community First. The fairness and management of the allocation of these funds is an essential part of the process. The community groups have subsequently benefitted many people. As representatives of Acocks Green, once again we say a Big Thank You!
Excellent post about great work building the community !