How Local Fund addresses the 'hidden needs' of Harrogate on loneliness and mental health

Harrogate district community groups were joined by the Mayor and Mayoress of Harrogate and the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire last week to celebrate a bumper year of funding distributed by The Local Fund for the Harrogate District.

Friday, 26th November 2021, 2:46 pm
The Local Fund is a partnership between Harrogate Borough Council, Harrogate and District Community Action and the Two Ridings Community Foundation.
The Local Fund is a partnership between Harrogate Borough Council, Harrogate and District Community Action and the Two Ridings Community Foundation.

With two rounds of grants awarded in 2021, totalling a massive £85,000, 29 local community groups benefited from the funding - keeping local people and communities fed, safe, well and connected through what has been a very challenging year.

The fund - a partnership between Harrogate Borough Council, the Two Ridings Community Foundation and Harrogate and District Community Action - is designed to encourage local donations and fund-raising and has helped many community groups to survive through the tough Covid months.

Sign up to our daily Harrogate Advertiser Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Jan Garrill from the Two Ridings Community Foundation thanked all those who had donated to the fund and made it the valuable and long term resource that it has become.

She also revealed news of a £200,000 donation to the fund by Harrogate Borough Council and a new incentive which will see donations effectively doubled with match-funding via the Two Ridings Community Foundation.

“Thanks to all the supporters of The Local Fund who helped make this amazing long term legacy for the Harrogate District,” she said. “Without the generous support of many donors to the fund we wouldn’t be able to fund these incredible local charitable organisations.

“And a special thanks to Harrogate Borough Council, who with their donation of £200,000 means many more new donors can now set up their own funds to support The Local Fund and get it matched pound for pound.”

In the first round of grants, ten organisations were supported financially to essentially keep them afloat, helping them pay for rent, utilities and other essential costs when other income had dried up.

The groups supported were Harrogate Clothes Bank, the Wesley Centre, Peer Support - New Beginnings, Badapple Theatre Company, Masham Town Hall Community Charity, Harrogate Bowling Club, Chain Lane Community Centre,Samaritans of Harrogate and District, Harrogate Hospital Radio and Harrogate & Knaresborough Toy Library.

A second round of funding was made in July supporting 19 local organisations to help them restart their services and activities so people could reconnect, feel well, make friends and starting getting their lives back - so much of which had to stop because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Resurrected Bites launched their community grocery store through the fund, supporting local people on low incomes with an affordable grocery shop all sourced from food intercepted from going to waste, at a time when food poverty rocketed.

Wellspring Therapy were able to offer reduced costs on their counselling service and developed online counselling and suicide prevention support projects specifically aimed at young people, highly affected by being able to go to school, see their friends or get out of the house.

Harrogate District of Sanctuary put their funding towards supporting asylum seekers and refugees in Harrogate with social activities, interpreters and payments for small things, that would otherwise see them unable to feel part of their community.

Dancing for Wellbeing secured venue hire for their popular and social wellbeing dance sessions.

The other successful groups to receive funding were: Fitmums and friends , Harrogate & District Community Action, Boroughbridge and District Community care, Lifeline Harrogate Ltd, Nidderdale & Pateley Bridge Men’s Shed, Supporting Older People, Open Country, St. Andrew’s Church, Burnt Yates, Artizan International, Blind Jack Explorer Scout Unit, Emerging Voices and Autism Angels.

A commercial floor cleaner was also purchased for Pannal Village Hall and a tractor mower for Pannal Ash Football Club.

At last week’s event, the Mayor of Harrogate, Coun Trevor Chapman made a speech about the groups who had been awarded funding and revealed the amount distributed this year on a huge cheque.

Karen Weaver, of Harrogate and District Community Action, said many groups and people who would often slip through the cracks of the system had benefitted via The Local Fund.

“The Local Fund is all about addressing the hidden needs in our district, like loneliness and mental health,” she said. “It’s so important that there is a dependable fund for small groups that make such a massive impact in the district.

“It is really wonderful to be standing here looking at people that strive to make a difference.

“I love that the fund supports them and that they in turn support so many local people; 15,295 beneficiaries in 2021 alone.”

What is The Local Fund?

The Local Fund is an innovative partnership between Harrogate Borough Council, HADCA and Two Ridings Community Foundation designed to encourage local giving and be a long-term source of funding support to the work of local organisations tackling social issues that affect local people.

As well as Harrogate Borough Council contribution to The Local Fund, the Harry Bolland Trust Fund and other local donors and fundraising through the Local Lotto contribute.

The Local Lotto also provides a fundraising opportunity for local voluntary and community groups, which enables Harrogate residents to support the community organisations they care about most. Money raised through The Local Lotto contributes towards keeping the community sector thriving across the district.

Visit the website at: https://www.tworidingscf.org.uk/tlfharrogate/

The Local Fund: Full list of groups who benefitted in Harrogate area

Harrogate Clothes Bank, the Wesley Centre, Peer Support - New Beginnings, Badapple Theatre Company, Masham Town Hall Community Charity, Harrogate Bowling Club, Chain Lane Community Centre, Samaritans of Harrogate and District, Harrogate Hospital Radio, Harrogate & Knaresborough Toy Library, Resurrected Bites, Wellspring Therapy, Harrogate District of Sanctuary, Dancing for Wellbeing, Fitmums and friends, Harrogate & District Community Action, Boroughbridge and District Community care, Lifeline Harrogate Ltd, Nidderdale & Pateley Bridge Men’s Shed, Supporting Older People, Open Country, St Andrew’s Church, Burnt Yates, Artizan International, Blind Jack Explorer Scout Unit, Emerging Voices and Autism Angels.