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Help shape our future support for local community groups

A busy and bustling Brick Lane

A busy street scene in the borough

The council is developing its new grants funding policies for the voluntary and community sector (VCS) and wants to hear from people and organisations that live, work and study in the borough.

Tower Hamlets currently has around 1300 VCS organisations which are often the first place that people turn to for advice, services and support. They also run thousands of regular positive events and activities that bring residents together and have been enjoyed by local families throughout the years.

The council’s new Strategic Plan for 2022-26 sets out its priorities and outcomes for the next four years, which includes a commitment to agree long-term VCS funding.

An online survey to receive local feedback has been launched at: talk.towerhamlets.gov.uk/tower-hamlets-grants-engagement-survey and runs until Friday 27 January 2023.

A range of events are also taking place to ensure that the council hears from a diverse range of voices from across the community. Information on these are listed on the council’s dedicated webpage www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/councilgrantsvcs and will be promoted on the council’s social media channels.  

The council is seeking views on two proposed future grant programmes, the Mayor’s community grants programme, and the small grants programme.

Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “The borough’s brilliantly dedicated voluntary and community sector works tirelessly to support local families and to transform lives. Organisations of all sizes have for many generations provided a vital lifeline that our residents really value, enjoy and rely on.

“Our grant funding is one way that the council can help to create longer term stability for local organisations, and it’s important that we hear from as many people as possible as we develop our plans.

“We value the role of our local organisations and are dedicated to further strengthen our shared commitment to bring our communities together and help to create a fairer, stronger and more equal Tower Hamlets.”

The council welcomes all feedback and especially wants to ensure that organisations that run VCS services, and those who use and rely on those services have their views and voices heard.

Councillor Saied Ahmed, Cabinet Member for Resources and the Cost of Living said: “We recognise the huge role that voluntary and community sector organisations play in supporting residents. This was clearly evident during the Covid-19 pandemic and its on-going recovery, and now in helping families struggling with the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

“These organisations are at the very heart of their local communities and are often the first place that residents will turn to for support. We can be rightly proud of all that they do, and for our part the council wants to do what it can to encourage and support their vital work.”

Following the survey and further work to develop the new polices, subject to approval the new VCS grants programmes are expected to be in place from October 2023.

Posted on Thursday 8th December 2022