Voluntary groups will see budget cuts next year

More than £23,000 will be cut from the pot of money which helps voluntary groups in Sheffield.

By Lucy Ashton
Friday, 15th November 2019, 7:41 am
Updated Friday, 15th November 2019, 3:36 pm
Voluntary groups will see budget cuts next year

The Grant Aid budget for next year will be £1.4m, shared with community groups across the city including those for older people, homeless people, ethnic minority women and people with learning disabilities.

There will be a £23,686 reduction in the overall budget which will be split across all grants. The council says for some organisations it is a “very small amount” – for example a cut of £228 for New Beginnings project which supports refugees and asylum seekers.

Lorraine Wood, head of communities, says in a council report that there will be a comprehensive review of Grant Aid next year.

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“The proposal ensures that the council continues to tackle inequalities in the city through continuing to fund the voluntary sector by extending the current Grant Aid arrangements for one financial year.

“Grant Aid is made up of public health funding and general funding. Due to the current pressures on the public health budget a reduction of £23,686 is proposed.

“The voluntary and community sector is a key partner in tackling inequalities in the city. The sector is valued and is quick to identify solutions to numerous challenges, supports communities to develop connections, and promotes inclusivity.

“Grant Aid is the only council budget ring-fenced to support citywide activities delivered by the voluntary and community sector.”

Last year organisations which received Grant Aid employed 309 members of staff. The voluntary sector contributes an estimated £287m to Sheffield’s economy each year and £90m to £125m of this figure is volunteer time.

The report adds: “Overall the impact of the proposals will be neutral to low. The decision gives most grant recipients a further year of confirmed funding with a small reduction.

“We wish to continue to fund the voluntary sector through Grant Aid while understanding the financial constraints.

“We want to show the voluntary sector we value the excellent and wide-ranging support they provide to a wide and diverse range of Sheffield residents.”

Cabinet will discuss Grant Aid at a meeting on November 27.