Community groups encouraged to bid for health funding

17 Jun 2019

Community groups in West Suffolk who are working to tackle loneliness, improve mental health and reduce obesity, are encouraged to bid for funding.

A total of £432,756 has been made available for West Suffolk groups to bid for under the Realising Ambitions programme created by the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System.

The fund, designed to improve physical and mental health for adults and children, is being administered by the Suffolk Community Foundation. Funding will be given for projects, new and existing, that look to improve one or more of the following:

  • Mental health and reduce suicides
  • Provide neighbourhood action to tackle loneliness
  • Prevent and treat obesity

Cllr Robert Everitt, West Suffolk Council Cabinet Member for Families and Communities, said: “Within our communities, there are groups and individuals working to help other people in their area address some of these large complex issues that we face as a society. Many of these people have lived experiences or are professionals and have identified ways that they think they can better help people within their community. Our own Community Chest grant, which will open for applications later this summer, works on a similar basis, enabling caring people in our communities to do what they do best and help others.

“Prevention is always better than cure, so if we can encourage community groups to help reduce people’s feelings of loneliness and isolation then we know that will have a massive lift on both their physical and mental health. Through our partnership work on social prescribing, we know that by involving people in groups and activities within their own community, we can help alleviate some of their feelings of stress and anxiety. And encouraging people to get out and participate in activity is a simple way of helping people avoid or treat obesity which again can have a hugely positive impact on their mental and physical health.”

“The answers often lie within our communities which is why I am encouraging community groups to find out more and bid for some of these funds.”

Micro grants of up to £1000, larger grants of £1000 to £50,000 and partnership grants of up to £70,000 are all available. The closing date for grant applications is 5 August with grants set to be awarded in October.

Dr Ed Garratt, Executive Lead for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, said: “Realising Ambition is a fantastic opportunity to unite health, care, volunteers and the public together to bring about real improvements for local people and communities.

“Working with voluntary organisations is nothing new in west Suffolk. We have been successful in establishing social prescribing which links patients needing GP or primary care with sources of support within the community and has been highly successful in areas such as Haverhill. Our system will be building on this way of working to ensure other priorities are included as part of Realising Ambition.”

Stephen Singleton, Chief Executive of Suffolk Community Foundation said, “Our voluntary sector plays a vital role to support local people and help communities improve their overall health and well-being. We remain excited to be an integral part of Realising Ambition and look forward to continuing working with local partners to make a real difference to the lives of local people.”

For more information contact the grants team on 01473 602602 or email

More information including grant criteria is available at


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