Jo backs community awards scheme

Jo Swinson has backed a £1million nationwide community improvement programme and encouraged entrants from East Dunbartonshire to apply for grants.

It's Your Community award recipients

Funding can be awarded for a range of projects to improve local communities

The ‘It’s Your Community’ programme, funded by O2, will give cash awards of between £100 and £1,000 to individuals or groups to run projects that make a difference in local communities.

Commenting on the awards, Jo said:

“The best way to improve our communities is to act locally. A few small-scale projects can make a huge difference if properly funded and coordinated.

“For anyone who has an idea to improve their neighbourhood, or a fully-fledged project in need of funding, ‘It’s Your Community’ is a great way to get things off the ground.

“Applying for an ‘It’s Your Community’ award is simple, just log on to the project website at Awards are made monthly, so applications can be submitted at any time. I will be happy to provide help with the application process to anyone who contacts my office about the awards.”

A report commissioned by O2 entitled ‘Community Spirit’ highlights that almost half of British people (42 per cent) think local when it comes to helping society by getting involved with volunteering and local tidy-ups. The report also showed that almost three quarters of Brits (70 per cent) think local people are best placed to stimulate local action and connect with communities and over half (52 per cent) also welcome external funding or resources (52 per cent) to help.

Jo Swinson office can be contacted by phone on (0141) 762 2209, in writing at 4 Springfield House, Emerson Road, Bishopbriggs G64 1QE or by email at[email protected].

The ‘It’s Your Community’ programme is run with help from The Conservation Foundation and will make upwards of 60 awards each month to enable ideas to get off the ground. Anything from tackling a community eyesore to creating links between generations by clearing rubbish and graffiti, planting trees where none grew before, and creating a wildlife pond where there was once a puddle will be considered.

The awards programme has four categories:

• Community Places – improving the place communities share

• Community People – helping bring people together

• Community Pride – tackling issues head on and restoring a sense of pride

• Community Landscape – improving the natural environments of communities

Projects are judged on range of criteria including impact on the community’s local environment, sustainability, impact on environmental awareness, practicality and originality.

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