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Focus on youth for community fund

Your local NHS is inviting applications for special one-off funding for innovative projects that will support the health and wellbeing of young people across East Berkshire.

The Children and Young People Innovation Fund offers grants of up to £5,000 pounds to community projects that need a bit of help to get started or overcome hurdles to making them work along the way.

Individuals or organisations across Bracknell Forest, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and Slough are eligible to apply. Applications must be submitted by midday on July 30.

Bids can be focussed on young people themselves (up to the age of 25) or take a broader approach and offer help to parents and families too. Submissions are welcome on any aspect of improving physical or mental health and wellbeing – and no idea is too big or too small.

Dr Jim O’Donnell, a Slough GP and the Place-based Clinical Lead for Slough for NHS Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “As healthcare commissioners and providers, we know that we don’t have all the answers to the problems our communities face, and we also know that our neighbourhoods are filled with dynamic and positive people who have a wealth of ideas, knowledge and experience and who understand what their local communities need to improve their health and wellbeing.

“Even the best hopes and plans can be prevented from becoming reality because there isn’t the money to get them off the ground – despite the fact that for many of these projects we’re not talking about large sums.

“That’s where the Innovation Fund comes in. By placing more resources in the hands of members of our communities, we’re empowering local people in the search for solutions to our health and wellbeing. The idea is that it can provide the boost that people or organisations need to get them up and running or to get them over whatever hurdle they’re facing, so they can deliver valuable support to their communities.”

Young people themselves are able to apply – alongside their school or other local group – and anyone over the age of 16 can apply as an individual.

The Innovation Fund was originally the brainchild of a local volunteer within Frimley Health and Care, who recognised not only the wealth of talent and expertise within the community and voluntary sectors but also understood that one of the main barriers was to being able to tap into that talent.

In recent years wide-ranging projects have benefited from the Innovation Fund, including a community garden, a menopause support group and a diet and exercise programme for people with long-term conditions.

Find out more, including how to apply, here: www.frimleyhealthandcare.org.uk/ebinnovationfund

Frimley Health and Care