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Cash boost for community project in Harlow

Communities / Thu 1st Aug 2013 am31 09:10am

A PROJECT which will bring residents and organisations together to improve local communities is to be trialled in the town after receiving an award of nearly £50,000.

Following a successful bid to Whole Essex Community Budget, £48,550 has been secured to tackle a range of issues in Harlow. Harlow is currently one of three areas in Essex that have been successful in securing funding.

The approach will recruit people called Community Builders to help connect and support voluntary and community groups, individuals and services. The builders aim to develop a network of voluntary Community Connectors in an area, who will work with the local community to identify and tackle local issues that are important to them, like older vulnerable people feeling isolated.

Harlow Council will be working with Rainbow Services and a range of other community and voluntary groups to roll out the trial, which will initially take place in three areas of the town.

Councillor Emma Toal, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Youth and Citizenship, said: ‘This funding will help us build on the excellent work that the community and voluntary sector do in Harlow, and to encourage networking and opportunities for local people to be involved in activities that will directly benefit their community’.

Jackie Sully, Chief Executive at Rainbow Services said ‘We are very excited about being involved in this trial. The award of this grant recognises that Harlow has a very strong voluntary sector and we welcome this opportunity to work in partnership to encourage even greater community activity. We are currently in the process of recruiting a Community Builder and will be working with partners to identify three areas to pilot within the next few weeks.’

Bob Reitemeier, Chief Executive of the Essex Community Foundation and member of the Essex Partnership Board, said “I believe that to truly create stronger and more resilient communities it is essential that local residents have the capability, and the confidence, to take ownership of local issues. Community Builders are an ideal way to develop solutions which place local communities at the heart of decision-making, empowering local residents to take action. There is a tremendous amount of energy and passion in all communities across Essex and Community Builders can help target this to solve local issues.”

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