The initiative accepts bids of up to £7,000 from charities and organisations in-and-around Loughborough, to support schemes that aid the local community.
The Special Projects Fund is part of the University’s larger Community Donations Fund, which has helped more than 200 community groups in the Charnwood area.
The vital service supports community members facing challenging circumstances and it has seen a fourfold increase in the number of people collecting parcels since opening in 2014. The van will allow the organisation to easily collect and transport donations.
The second recipient of funding in this round of the Special Projects Fund is Falcon Support Services, which has been awarded £2,378 for a new dishwasher and tumble dryer.
Falcon Support Services provides supported accommodation and community projects for those that are homeless, at risk of homelessness or socially isolated; it also offers 70 bed spaces across nine projects.
Its new Drop-In day centre provides a safe and warm place for homeless people, offering services such as shower access, a washing machine and food.
The dishwasher will ensure that the project can provide food more efficiently and the tumble dryer will enable those using the washing machine to also dry their clothes within the Drop-In opening times.
Alongside the new machines, the funding will buy two computers; many of Falcon's service users do not have access to computers and these will enable them to log on to the online Universal Credit roll, write CV's, look for jobs or carry out educational opporunities.
Additionally, the Charnwood Citizens Advice Bureau received a donation of £6891 from the Special Projects Fund, to help run a fixed eight-month group programme to recruit and train an additional eight advisers.
The Charnwood Citizens Advice Bureau is recognised for their vital work within the community, offering free, confidential, independent and impartial advice to clients; their generalist advisers are volunteers who are trained to provide advice and information on a variety of issues, such as debt, welfare benefits, employment and housing.
Jon Walker, Chair of the Community Donations Committee and the University’s Director of Enterprise Development, commented:
“We are very pleased to be able to provide funding to Falcon Support Services, the Shepshed Foodbank and Citizens Advice Charnwood through our Special Projects Fund.
“The volunteers and staff in these organisations do very important work that makes a real difference to the lives of the people they support in the Loughborough area and more widely across Charnwood.”
For more information on the criteria for the Community Donations Fund, see our website or contact Jessica Metson on firstname.lastname@example.org.