The Community First Programme – Introduction

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About the Community First Programme

Community First is an £80m government-funded initiative that will run for four years, until March 2015. The programme will help communities come together to identify their strengths and local priorities in order to plan for their future and become more resilient. It will fund both new and existing community groups.

Money is now available to fund community projects. People will be encouraged to give time, expertise and resources towards the projects they identify in their areas. The government will match these pound for pound, helping to stimulate local action towards meeting community needs.

Community First in Clapton Pond

Around £30,000 has become available to be given out over four years in small grants – more details later as to deadlines for bids and funding criteria. This is being administered by the Community Development Foundation (CDF) and Clapton Pond Neighbourhood Action Group (CPNAG) are acting as what will be know as the the Panel Partner for the Leabridge Ward. The below text is as provided by the CDF and should include answers to most of your questions. Further information can be found the links included in the text

About Community First

A Community First Panel of local people has been formed for the Leabridge ward.

The Government would like to encourage and support neighbourhoods who want to take a more ‘strategic’ approach and develop Community First Plans identifying what resources and capacity is already available to the community.

The programme is overall supervised by the Community Development Foundation (CDF). More information about the CDF can be found at http://www.cdf.org.uk/ .

The programme can:

  • Support local projects that improve the quality of life for local people
  • Promote a sense of ownership not only of problems but of local opportunities and resources
  • Start more neighbourhood groups and revitalise existing groups
  • Introduce a new approach to funding projects – leveraging time, money and other resources – helping neighbourhoods play a leading role in regenerating their area

It can result in:

  • Communities being able to help themselves and others
  • Neighbourhood groups that are better able to express their needs and influence decisions made about that community
  • Neighbourhood groups that are better able to take control of resources needed to make a difference – enhancing   confidence, capability and  partnership

Around £30,000 is available to be given out over four years in small grants – more details later as to deadlines for bids and funding criteria.

Community First aims to encourage people in Leabridge ward to:

  • Support the social action projects they need, improving the quality of life for themselves and others in their neighbourhood .
  • Participate in relevant local decision making, promoting a sense of ownership not only of problems but of local opportunities and resources.
  • Start more neighbourhood groups and revitalise existing groups.
  • Work with businesses, charities and public authorities, encouraging people to help others and themselves to improve the quality of life locally.
  • Introduce a new approach to funding projects – leveraging time, money and other resources – helping neighbourhoods play a leading role in regenerating their area.

To receive Community First funding any group or organisation must:

  • be a not-for-profit, third sector voluntary or community group
  • be connected with and/or meeting the needs of the local community
  • have a bank account with 2 signatories OR nominate an organisation which has a bank account with 2 signatories to hold funds on its behalf
  • have a governing document that has as a minimum the name, aim/purpose, objects, a dissolution clause for the organisation, a list of Trustees/Committee members, and Trustees/Committee member signatures. New groups are not required to have this in place, but should agree to develop one.
  • provide evidence of significant community participation in their application through the group’s matched element to the project
  • show that their project is in line with the priorities identified for the ward

Examples of what can be funded are:

  • the purchase of equipment, like a computer, oven, furniture
  • the costs of putting on a local event or workshop
  • training for volunteers
  • additional activities to expand an existing funded project
  • activities that support community activity
  • activities that meet an identified need in the local community
  • funding to support an organisation to achieve a quality or other standard relevant to their activities.

Community First cannot fund the following:

  • statutory organisations, such as Local Authorities, schools and the Police Force
  •  arms length public sector organisations that are controlled wholly or in part by, for example, a Local Authority, a Primary Care Trust or agencies of these
  •  any party political activity
  • commercial ventures
  • organisations working in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, or those that primarily benefit communities overseas in Europe or elsewhere. The grants must be used for activity within local communities in England.
  • certain types of activities that support Asylum Seeker groups. Further information can be found at: http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk

Match Funding

  • Groups funded by the CF programme will need to demonstrate match funding. The matched element should principally be in volunteer time but can also be donated cash, goods and services.
  • As grants awarded will be small and volunteering opportunities in some cases may be limited, many groups will nonetheless, be dependent on volunteers to help deliver projects.  CDF are recommending groups use an hourly rate of £11.09 to calculate the value of volunteer match time.
  • In order to greater reflect current labour market costs, CDF is using the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) and within this the Median gross hourly earnings rate.  From the current survey (December 2010) CDF are therefore recommending groups use an hourly rate of £11.09 to calculate the value of volunteer match time.  The ASHE is the ONS principal source for earnings estimates collected in April and uses data on 181,000 employees.  The statistics (drawn from current HM Revenue & Customs PAYE records) although higher, are based on current labour market costs and give a more realistic indication of how much it might cost a group to employ a full or part time member of staff in the (volunteer) role.  CDF are opting for this median value as it represents the middle ground used to calculate the pay rate for a typical worker within a homogeneous group and will be adjusted annually to reflect changes in labour costs.

We will be giving an opening and closing date for bids in due course, along with a standard application form and the necessary criteria. Please do not write about making a bid before that time as we will not be able to respond.

If you want to contact the Panel, then please email leabridgeward.london@claptonpond.org .  Please leave a few days for any reply as we do not have admin staff! It would also help if you gave a phone number to contact you on.

If you need to contact the Clapton Pond Neighbourhood Action Group (CPNAG)  then please email contact@claptonpond.org

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