Community Focus received CIF funding to support their delivery of digital skills workshops to over 55s
Barnet-based community groups can apply for a grants from the £320,000 Community Innovation Fund from 1 October.
Barnet Council launched the Community Innovation Fund (CIF) in spring 2021. The CIF comprises funding from health and social care partners as well as the council and is co-designed with Barnet Together – the borough’s voluntary sector partnership. The pilot round saw nearly £130,000 invested in seven local projects that are helping Barnet residents improve their health and wellbeing.
Following the success of this first round an increased grant fund of £320,000 will be awarded to more local health and wellbeing projects this autumn.
The second round of the fund opens for applications on 1 October 2021 and will be seeking to fund projects that focus on mental health, health inequalities, green spaces for healthy leisure and improving the health of families and young people. The fund’s assessment panel is particularly interested in seeing applications benefiting communities with poorer health outcomes.
Community Focus Inclusive Arts were one of the seven organisations who secured funding in the first round of the Community Innovation Fund. Their digital inclusion project uses arts to enable disadvantaged adults over the age of 55 to develop digital skills, as well as building digital support peer networks.
Gabrielle Cooper, Project Manager at Community Focus, said:
“The Community Innovation Fund has allowed us to design and create Digital Skill workshops that over the past 18months have shown to be in urgent need. We've been able to offer those over 55, the age bracket most vulnerable to digital exclusion, an opportunity to gain essential skills in digital literacy. We've seen participants, who've previously expressed feeling overwhelmed and intimidated at the thought of learning these new skills, take each task head-on and with huge enthusiasm. We thank The Community Innovation Fund for helping us provide this friendly and necessary space for digital learning.”
The CIF is majority funded by the Barnet Integrated Care Partnership (Local NHS acute and community trusts, North Central London CCG and Barnet Council) and aims to improve health and wellbeing in the borough.
If you are a voluntary or community organisation providing support to Barnet residents you can find out how to apply here: www.barnet.gov.uk/communityinnovationfund
You can also contact the council’s Community Innovations and Funding Manager Marta Montague: CommunityInnovationFund@Barnet.gov.uk
The deadline for applications 1 November at 5pm.