New Cost of Living Grant for Community Projects

Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Wandsworth has launched a Cost of Living Fund to help deliver grass-roots community responses to the Cost of Living crisis.

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The Cost of Living Fund will enable voluntary and community groups to apply for up to £20,000 for projects that help Wandsworth residents over the coming winter months, including warm spaces and access to affordable, nutritious food.

Last winter the council committed £5m to support immediate Cost of Living Help to local residents, community and businesses. Successful projects included 55 warm spaces in a mixture of council-run and voluntary sector venues, as well as measures including extra payment for pensioners, bonuses for council contractors not on the Living wage and extra money for hardship payments.

In July Council Leader Simon Hogg doubled support to £10m to make it the largest and most generous support package in London. Additional support includes free gym and swim and free school uniforms for low-income families.

The new fund builds upon the learnings from last year, as well as feedback from the Wandsworth Cost of Living Commission, which recommended longer-term action by the council and community as a whole.

Organisations will have more time to develop plans and apply for money from the new dedicated fund. The council will also work with voluntary sector organisations as partners – working together to develop solutions rather than just funding them.

The three main areas of support will be:

  • Community spaces: The ultimate aim will be to create a series of community spaces that provide somewhere warm and safe for anyone to go to. They will be able to relax, socialise and get access to help and advice.
  • Access to food: Money will be available to voluntary sector projects providing hot food to people in need.
  • Other cost of living services: Supporting voluntary and community groups providing other services in response to the Cost of Living crisis, such as advice for struggling households.   

Deputy council leader Kemi Akinola said: “We want to harness the power of grass roots organisations that really know their neighbourhoods. Rather than coming to the town hall, we want people to be able to access help from people they know in the community where they live.

“Our work so far has helped thousands of people cope with the Cost of Living crisis. Now we are looking at longer-term Cost of Living support delivered with our community partners. I encourage community groups to apply to we can support the great work you are already doing.

“We have pledged to make Wandsworth a fairer and more compassionate borough, and to truly listen to what local people tell us they need. We will continue to do all we can to continue to help local families struggling to make ends meet.”

There will be two opportunities to apply to the Cost of Living Fund. The first deadline is on 13th October and will be for winter projects, with another deadline in December for longer-term activities.

Find out more and apply

Find out about the range of support on offer on our Cost of Living Hub.