Community chest grants awarded to local groups

Published: Thursday, 16 February 2023

Fifteen community groups are to benefit from more than £80,000 in funding to help Havering residents with their health and wellbeing.

The Community Chest gave small-to-medium-sized charities, voluntary, faith groups and social enterprises the chance to bid for up to £10,000 funding from money provided by the Havering Place-based Partnership, in collaboration with the NHS. 

The applications for funding were reviewed by a panel of health, local authority and Healthwatch partners.

It is set to benefit a range of organisations whose proposals focused on tackling the cost of living and supporting people with learning difficulties and disabilities, long-term conditions and mental health.

Community groups say the funding will make a vast difference to their work.

The Proper Blokes Club runs weekly walks from Upminster Station to support men to open up about the stresses and anxiety they face that might affect their mental health.

Scott Oughton-Johnson, Managing Director of the Proper Blokes Club said:

“The funding will mean we can reach more men in need.

"This will also allow me to commit more time to the project in Havering and begin the process of starting a new group to work alongside the Upminster walk.  It can only be a good thing.” 

Tom Rodgers, Director of Music for Hornchurch Can’t Sing and United Singers Choral Ensemble, which both received grants, said funding would help pay for local professionals to work with their singers.

"He said: “It’s nice to be recognised by being given a grant. Each choir I conduct is excited that their worth in the community has been noted.

“Singing can provide a great health benefit and has helped to improve members’ own health and outlook.”

Councillor Gillian Ford, Havering Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said:

“Working with our partners in the community, we identified that the areas of mental health, cost of living, learning disabilities and long-term conditions, are the areas that needed the most assistance at this time.

“The sums of money allocated will go a long way to help the groups to run projects and to give residents a boost where it is most needed.”

Luke Burton, Director of the Havering Place-Based Partnership, said:

“It’s fantastic to be able to support some of these incredible projects which are already making a huge difference to the health and wellbeing of people right across our borough.

"We are confident these grants will go a long way to supporting this vital work.” 

The groups awarded funding were:

  • The Proper Blokes Club - £2,000
  • Attention Deficit Disorders Uniting Parents (ADD UP) - £4,150
  • Romford Autistic Group - £5,000
  • The Habbit Factory (arts organisation) - £9,450
  • Hornchurch Can’t Sing Choir - £2,000
  • Rainham Foodbank - £9,850
  • Havering BME Forum    - £3,860
  • United Singers Choral Ensemble - £2,500
  • Havering Volunteer Centre - £4,630
  • Havering and Brentwood Bereavement Counselling (HBBS) - £9,975
  • Havering Association for People with Disabilities - £5,000
  • Elm Park Community Association - £4,330
  • The No Collective (arts organisation) - £3,795
  • Ardleigh Green Family Centre - £9,700
  • Havering Asian and Welfare Association - £4,422