New Partnership to Support Norfolk Community Groups

Community groups across Norfolk will have access to the support they need thanks to a new partnership, funded by Norfolk County Council.

We are excited to announce that Voluntary Norfolk is working together with Community Action Norfolk and Norfolk Community Foundation as part of the new Empowering Communities Partnership, with Norfolk Community Advice Network and FUSE Norwich working alongside as strategic partners.

The help on offer includes managing funding and finance; expert training and seminars; volunteer recruitment and deployment; and a series of forums and networking opportunities.

This partnership marks a 45% increase in the funding provided for this support, in recognition of the role community groups have played throughout the pandemic.

Margaret Dewsbury, cabinet member for communities and partnerships at Norfolk County Council said:

“The pandemic has clearly shown that Norfolk’s voluntary groups are the life-blood of our communities. Thousands of people stepped up to help their neighbours by delivering food packages, talking to those who are lonely and supporting the vaccine roll-out.”

“We know this is a challenging time for the voluntary sector. This partnership reinforces our commitment to support the sector and invests in the support they need.”

Lucy Hogg, Director of Voluntary Sector Infrastructure at Voluntary Norfolk, said

“The partnership is really excited to be working together to drive a step-change in support for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector – we want to -enable the sector to amplify its voice at this critical time, as we come out of the Pandemic to enable more collaboration, stronger partnerships, and more resources into the sector, to enable the sector to thrive, and provide its vital services to Norfolk’s communities.”

The partnership has seen the funding provided by Norfolk County Council for Norfolk’s voluntary sector support organisations increase by 45%, from £172,000 to £250,000 for a 2-year period.

There is also an additional cash boost of £150,000 over 3 years to directly support local voluntary groups through the Empowering Communities Fund.

The funding builds on the existing infrastructure support arrangements and comes after a recent survey found that two-thirds of voluntary organisations expect the demand for their services to increase. This is against a backdrop of falling income and reduction in the range of services on offer.

This news follows the announcement of the £1million in grants awarded to community groups across the county for the Norfolk Social Infrastructure Grant, funded by Norfolk County Council.

The Empowering Communities Fund is now open to local organisations to apply for grants up to £10,000 to help build their resilience and become more sustainable.

Get more information and apply with the Norfolk Foundation. 

A new partnership website will be coming soon, but until then any community group or social enterprise that wants to find out how to get help can contact Voluntary Norfolk.