Grants of up to £50,000 available to support adults with learning disabilities and autism in Somerset

October 1, 2019

The Discovery Community Fund has been created to help adults with learning disabilities and autism live fulfilling lives in their own communities and grants of £500-£50,000 are now available. Applications should be submitted by Thursday 31 October, 2019.

Luke Joy-Smith, Managing Director at Discovery, explains: “We want to fund creative projects that can bring about real changes in people’s lives. That might be by creating social networks for young adults to make sure they don’t become isolated, helping people into employment, making community spaces more accessible by installing a Changing Places toilet, or combatting hate crime.”

Groups can apply for a grant via Somerset Community Foundation (SCF), which is administering the fund. Andy Ridgewell, Programmes Manager at SCF, continues: “To apply, applicants need to explain, in 500 words, what they need funding for, how many people will benefit, what difference you think it will make, and how much you think it will cost. If your project is a good fit for the Discovery Community Fund, we’ll ask you to complete a full application form. Grants will be awarded by March 2020.”

The fund has already supported nine projects across Somerset, including Orchard Vale Trust, which has residential homes in Shepton Mallet, Cheddar and Wookey, near Wells. The £15,651 grant from the Discovery Fund has enabled them to run a number of digital inclusion sessions, which will build confidence and address risks so that adults with learning disabilities can live more independent lives.

Liz Page, CEO at Orchard Vale Trust, said: “We are really excited to deliver a project that supports adults with learning disabilities to access online opportunities in a safe way. A big thank you to Somerset Community Foundation and Discovery for making this happen!”

The fund has six priority areas and the funding is likely to support projects that can address one or more of these themes:

  • Strengthening the transition to young adulthood
  • Tackling health inequalities
  • Supporting people into employment
  • Removing barriers to community spaces
  • Combatting hate crime, and
  • Enabling people with learning disabilities and autism to take the lead and shape things using their own ideas.

To find out more click here or call Andy Ridgewell, Programme Manager on: 01749 344949.

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