A GRANT will help recruit new volunteers and improve training at a befriending service based in Ashbourne.
Volunteer Centre Derbyshire Dales has been granted a funding by Derbyshire County Council for its Readycall service which provides befriending and simple practical help to older, disabled and vulnerable people living in the southern Derbyshire Dales.
The grant £7,966 will be used to replace an outdated record anddatabase system, develop new promotional material, recruit more volunteers and develop a new training programme.
Readycall was one of eight befriending groups to benefit from the new Capacity Building Grant which was launched as part of Derbyshire County Council’s Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network.
The network aims to ensure isolated and vulnerable adults who could benefit from befriending support are put in contact with services that can help them and ensures that its members offer services which meet certain standards so that people using them can be confident they are safe and well-run.
The network was launched last year across the county along with the Befriending Champions scheme, which enables trained volunteers who work in the community to sign-post appropriate services to people who may benefit.
The Capacity Building Grant fund offers one-off grants of up to £8,000 to groups that are already members of the Trusted Befriending Network so that they can extend the services they currently offer. Grants can be used in a variety of ways to help groups support more people including funding for volunteer training, venue hire or extra resources for a particular project.
Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for adult care, Councillor Charles Jones said: “The projects that have successfully applied for grants are all very worthwhile and are already providing excellent services to support vulnerable and isolated people in the community. The funding we have been able to provide will help them all to extend the work they do and support even more people in the community, helping them to get out and about and combat loneliness and isolation.”
A second new grant fund was also launched as part of the Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network, called the Friends and Good Neighbours Grant.
This grant is aimed at groups wanting to set up initiatives aimed at combating loneliness in their communities. Groups which successfully apply for a Friends and Good Neighbours Grant will receive up to £3,000 to kickstart a community event or set up a good neighbour initiative with a befriending aim.