£7m funding boost for health and social care

MORE than £7m has been awarded to voluntary and community organisations to improve the health, social care and well-being of people in East Sussex for the next three years.

The funding comes from Adult Social Care and the NHS, following a competitive process earlier in the year (2011).

Keith Hinkley, the director of Adult Social Care, said, “This is not new money but it is an important investment in the future of healthy and sustainable communities in East Sussex, where people are supported to help each other.

“We have distributed funding in a new way to make it easier for groups to bid.

“People who use services and carers were also key to making the decisions as they know how care and support services can make a real difference to people’s lives.

“The majority of funding agreements will be for three years offering security and stability to organisations during economically challenging times. Clearly we couldn’t award funding to everyone, but overall, we were really pleased at receiving quality bids from such a broad range of groups and organisations.”

Dr Diana Grice, East Sussex Director of Public Health, said, “This innovative approach has enabled us to value the contribution that local groups make to improving the health of local people.

“We very much welcomed this opportunity to collaborate with colleagues in adult social care, and are delighted to have funded a range of services to help people across East Sussex stay healthy.”

Organisations which have received funding include Care for the Carers, the Alzheimer’s Society, Action in Rural Sussex, Hastings Advice and Representation Centre (HARC), Eastbourne YMCA, Newhaven Community Development Association and many others.

As well as substantial individual three-year grants, ranging to £1.1m, there were also grants up to £5,000 for smaller local and community groups, such as Sedlescombe Friendship Club and a lunch-club run by Newick Area Community Trust.

Age UK East Sussex, were awarded funding to help older people who have just left hospital and daytime activities around the county.

Their director of services Janice Leeming said, “Age UK East Sussex is delighted to have services funded through this bid process and to be continuing to work with Adult Social Care.

“We look forward to working hard to meet, and hopefully exceed, expectations on positive outcomes for older people in the county, over the next three years.”

A full list of the funding awards made is on the council website at: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/cgp