Charities in South Tyneside are being urged to boost their income with a free online service.
Mental Health Concern has secured more than £7,000 over the past year from a number of different trusts and companies by using the Open 4 Community portal which is paid for by South Tyneside Council.
The portal gives voluntary and community groups in the borough the chance to search through hundreds of grants, awards and other forms of financial assistance from the European Union, charitable trusts and Government.
Carol Robertson, a care navigator at Haven Court, raises funds for Mental Health Concern and uses the money she secures to provide activities and entertainment for those using the facility. The money is also used to run groups such as a knit and natter group and a gardening group to help alleviate loneliness and encourage older people to socialise more. It also supports the volunteers with help with the activities.
Carol said: “I find the portal invaluable.
“It’s a wonderful free resource for the voluntary sector in South Tyneside as it helps charities and other groups to help themselves. Without it, we would struggle to provide any group activities or entertainment for older people.”
Counc Nancy Maxwell, lead member for the voluntary sector, partnerships and co-operatives, said: “We recognise the valuable work that these groups do in our communities and are committed to helping them as much as we can.”
Voluntary and community groups in South Tyneside can find out more about the portal at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/communityfunding