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Bexley community projects to receive council cash

PUBLISHED: 16:20 26 June 2012 | UPDATED: 10:31 27 June 2012

Law centre chief executive Kathy Smith

Law centre chief executive Kathy Smith

Archant

Ten community projects in Bexley will benefit from a combined £1 million of grants from the council.

The money is coming from Bexley’s performance reward grant, which Bexley Council and its partners received for successfully meeting targets set down in their 2008 Local Area Agreement with the Government.

Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice will receive £101,412 to provide a befriending service to practically and emotionally support carers of people with advanced illnesses.

The hospice, based in Bostall Hill, Abbey Wood, provides care facilities for people with life-limiting illnesses and does not charge for their services.

Chief executive Kate Heaps admitted that without the funding, the hospice would not be able to provide the same service in Bexley that they do in Greenwich.

She said: “This is great news for us. In the six years I’ve been here this is the first funding we’ve received from the local authority.

“Carers are disadvantaged people and those who are caring for dying people are very isolated. Our aim is to recruit people to visit them at home to ease some of the loneliness.”

The hospice boss said the priority was to train a befriending manager before they start recruiting volunteers, a process which should take two to three months.

The other beneficiaries who will have projects benefiting are the Cross Street Law Centre in Erith which provides free legal advice, Bexley Voluntary Service Council, Bexley Health and Wellbeing Partnership, Mencap in Bexleyheath, Bexley Citizen Advice Bureaux, Age UK, First Step Community Trust and Bexley Accessible Transport Scheme.

The council will monitor each of the projects to ensure that they achieve their aims and provide value for money.

The law centre’s chief executive Kathy Smith said: “We are grateful to the council for giving us the opportunity of helping people who have been turned down for welfare benefits and people who have been unfairly dismissed from their jobs.

“The project starts next month and will run for two years. This will be a tremendous help.”

Cllr Colin Campbell said: “We felt it was right that the reward we earned together should be spent on projects which will have a positive impact on people’s lives.

“This is a one-off pot of money and we have chosen projects carefully so that the benefits are spread as wide as possible.”

For a full breakdown of funding contact Bexley Council on 020 8303 7777.

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