Sheffield voluntary groups can apply for funding to give communities a voice

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Voluntary groups in Sheffield are encouraged to apply for funding to help their members speak up about services.

Healthwatch Sheffield gives grants to a range of groups so it can make sure it’s hearing from as many people as possible, especially those whose voices aren’t often heard by services.

Since the Speak Up grants were launched, Healthwatch has supported 35 projects ranging from focus groups, community fun days, shared meals and creative projects.

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Lucy Davies of Healthwatch said: “We open the scheme every year, encouraging voluntary and community sector groups to apply.

Healthwatch Sheffield is encouraging community groups to apply for grantsHealthwatch Sheffield is encouraging community groups to apply for grants
Healthwatch Sheffield is encouraging community groups to apply for grants

“Organisations carry out a range of activities to help them hear from local people, and we help to write up their findings and make recommendations to local health and social care services.

“We then make sure these reports are seen by those who can make change happen.

We think it’s important that people can share their experiences directly with the people who make decisions about health and care services, and want to create opportunities for this to happen.”

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SACMHA received one of last year’s grants. They used it to speak with members of the African Caribbean community about receiving home care.

Sheffield Council’s adult social care team are now finalising an action plan to address SACMHA’s recommendations, as well as liaising with them about work and wider issues such as the provision of culturally appropriate care.

This year Healthwatch has five grants of £2,000 available. The deadline to apply is Monday May 9, for projects which will run over the summer.

Healthwatch has a guidance document to help groups plan a project and apply. There is a form where groups can apply online