What is the Community First Neighbourhood Grant?
The Community First Neighbourhood Grant Fund was initiated by the Cabinet Office, and is being run through the Community Development Foundation. The £30million fund nationally is aimed at encouraging people in deprived communities to give their time and expertise to local projects, to raise money and help make their local area a better place to live.

Why was Becontree Ward selected for this grant?
The funding was available to neighbourhoods that appeared to require additional support based on relatively high levels of economic deprivation and low levels of social capital which included the amount of voluntary activity locally. The following wards in Barking and Dagenham were selected for the neighbourhood grants over the four year period: Abbey, Becontree, Valence and Village.

How much grant has been allocated to the Becontree Community First Panel?
The Becontree Community First Panel was allocated £33,910. Neighbourhood groups who apply for Panel funds are expected to match the funds with either time or money. For this purpose, each hour of volunteer time is valued at £11.09.

The grant fund is being made available to the Becontree Community First Panel in the following proportions:

Year 1 17% (£5765)
Year 2 25% (£8478)
Year 3 25% (£8478)
Year 4 33% (£11910)

The Becontree Community First Panel was only established in March 2012, at the end of Year 1 of the funding so there has been some underspending of the grant as it was not possible to carry unallocated funds forward in to future years.

What is the purpose of the Becontree Community First Panel?
The purpose of the Panel is to raise local awareness of the programme, and make funding recommendations to the Community Development Trust.

Who are the members of Becontree Community First Panel?
The Council was asked to provide a representative for each Panel, and asked Councillor Evelyn Carpenter to be involved. The Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) helped identify the Panel Partner, Corina Kemp from the Life After Debt project run by Christians Against Poverty, and based at St Thomas Church vicarage, Burnside Road. Other Panel members are representative of other local community organizations, the business community, and Council services. To see the current list of Panel members with their photos follow the link.



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