Council gives Eastbourne good causes a £60,000 boost

Eastbourne Borough Council has awarded £60,000 to local good causes through its Small Grants Scheme this financial year.

Among the charities and groups supported with grants of up to £5,000 are Culture Shift, People Matter, Holding Space, Age UK and Bourne Out.

Councillor Alan Shuttleworth, Cabinet member for Direct Assistance Services, said: “We have a strong record of supporting local groups like these that make significant contributions to our community and our commitment to them remains steadfast.

“All of these groups work for the benefit of Eastbourne residents, improving the range of services and activities on offer in the town, and we are pleased to support them.”

The beneficiaries include: Culture Shift: its £4,000 grant goes towards an inclusive project called The Circus of Sound Cabaret which features performances from people of all ages and abilities in the community. Due to lockdown restrictions, the cabaret planned for June will be turned into an online event livestreamed on June 19 (visit facebook.com/circusofsoundcabaret)

People Matter: a charity that provides guidance to jobseekers to equip them for work. The £3,500 grant received from the council is helping significant numbers of people who need employment support as a result of the pandemic.

Holding Space: a community organisation established last year to provide support for parents, children and families. Its £3,000 grant will be used to help both children and adults with mental health concerns through online support and distribution of wellbeing packages.

Age UK: its £3,000 grant will grow its Healthy Living Clubs in Hampden Park and Polegate, which meet every two weeks providing a friendly environment for older people to meet, enjoy group activities and guest speakers. Temporarily suspended due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the clubs will re-open as soon as possible.

Bourne Out: an LGBT+ social group that will put its £3,500 grant towards a specially-trained mental health counsellor. During the pandemic, the group has been providing online mental health counselling for the LGBT+ community.

Councillor Shuttleworth added: “These applications for funding were approved before the Covid-19 outbreak and while many of the projects are thriving, a few have been put on temporary hold due to the pandemic. We look forward to them restarting as soon as possible.”

Photo: Craig Post and Harry Fairchild at The Circus of Sound Cabaret event in February this year.