Discovery Community Fund reopens to Somerset groups supporting people with learning disabilities and/or autism

September 14, 2022

Discovery, the organisation supporting autistic adults and people with learning disabilities in Somerset, has reopened applications for its Community Fund. Grants are available for a wide range of projects intended to help make community spaces and services more accessible for autistic adults and people with learning disabilities.

Applications through Somerset Community Foundation (SCF), who are administering the fund, are welcomed for grants ranging from £500 to £10,000.

The fund reopens following the Discovery Community Fund Report which surveyed individuals with learning disabilities and/or autism. 22% of respondents reported that they didn’t always have control of what they did in their free time, whilst only 30% were able to choose when they went out.

The report highlighted the mental and physical barriers that are an obstacle for people trying to connect with their community in businesses and public spaces. It also found that there is a lack of organisations which support people with a learning disability and/or autism from talking about gender, sexuality, mental health and wellbeing.

Projects that have successfully secured funding in the past have been as diverse as Dunster Festival’s interactive music experience, Adventure Therapy’s accessible outdoor activities, OpenStoryTellers’ ‘Get Connected’ drop-in sessions, and Somerset Cricket Foundation’s disability and visually impaired cricket teams.

More information on the Discovery Community Fund, including information on how to apply for a grant, can be found on Discovery’s website.

Helen Orford, Managing Director of Discovery, said: “We are delighted to reopen the Community Fund. These grants will enable individuals and organisations to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities and/or autism across Somerset, by ensuring that public spaces and services are truly welcoming and accessible. With these grants, we can take further steps to address the inequalities and barriers that have been spotlighted by the recent report and help people to live independent and fulfilling lives.”

Andy Ridgewell, Senior Programmes Manager at Somerset Community Foundation added: “It has been great to see the positive impact of previous grants in so many different projects across Somerset. We are thrilled to reopen for another round of applications. The Discovery Community Fund Report has shown that we can do more to improve the accessibility of the county’s public services and spaces. If you or your organisation are eager to support your community and help adults with learning disabilities and autism, we would love to hear from you.”

Any community group or charitable organisation looking for more information on how to apply for funding should visit the SCF website here, or call 01749 344949.


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