Manchester-based housing association, One Manchester has announced two grant schemes totalling £400,000 to support its customers and local community groups through the cost of living crisis this winter.
As prices rise and costs soar, a £300,000 Thrive Fund has been launched for One Manchester customers to help pay for the likes of food, furniture or school uniforms.
The housing association has put no restrictions on the amount of money people can apply for with the only eligibility criteria being that applicants need to be customers of One Manchester.
Support has also been rolled out through the Winter Wellness Fund. Grants totalling £100,000 are available to Manchester-based voluntary, community and social enterprise groups.
One Manchester’s chief executive, Nicole Kershaw, said: “Everyone is facing challenges right now with soaring costs and we know it’s going to be a hard winter for many people.
“We have launched the Thrive Fund to help support our customers who may need some extra financial support.
“Like people around the country, our customers will be worried about the cost of living, and this is our way of helping to pay for the essentials.
“Community groups provide vital services in Manchester but we know many will be struggling themselves.
“Our Winter Wellness Fund is in place to help them pay for activities, provide essentials or fund new or existing projects.
“Manchester’s community spirit is second to none and time and time again in recent years we have seen people come together and look out for one another and support each other – and this is our way of playing our part in these efforts.”
The Thrive Fund has been set up to help One Manchester customers purchase the things they need the most, but cannot be used to pay for bills.
Those applying will need to set out what financial support they require, which item or items they want to purchase and the difference the help would make to them.
The Winter Wellness Fund is open to applications from charities, community groups and voluntary organisations operating in Manchester
Grants ranging from £2,500 to £10,000 are available for projects which will help local people needing support during the winter months.
Funds could be used for a range of things including holding events, buying equipment and some support is also available to cover heating costs.
To qualify, projects need to support residents in Abbey Hey; Ardwick; Beswick; Clayton, Fallowfield, Gorton, Hulme, Levenshulme, Longsight, Moss Side, Moston; Newton Heath; Openshaw; Rusholme, or Whalley Range.
Applicants can expect to hear within a fortnight if they have been successful.
The City Council has launched a freephone Cost of Living Advice Line, 0800 023 2692, to help put residents in touch with local support and advice.
Image: A local woman taking part in a community gardening group funded by One Manchester
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