Healthwatch AGM

GHoPA attended the Healthwatch AGM & Funding Fair and  found it a well organised and informative event

A FUNDING fair was held to advise organisations how they can go about submitting successful bids for extra cash.

As part of Healthwatch’s programme of events, a special funding fair was held at The Warehouse in Freeman Street, where local organisations were able to learn more about successfully applying for grants and other money opportunities.

The event was for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to encourage partnerships with Healthwatch North East Lincolnshire.

It forms part of Healthwatch’s Health Action Week, a week of events encouraging residents of North East Lincolnshire to be more active in the health and social services they use.

Partnership co-ordinator Paul Glazebrook said: “We decided to arrange this fair because we have two main concerns. Firstly, North East Lincolnshire often misses out on national funding compared to other areas.

“And secondly, the most successful bids are often by individual organisations, very few are often done by collaborative working. So we want people to hear from the funders themselves and get the message across that partnership is best.”

He added: “We have a mixture of national, regional and local funders here and they are all giving advice on how to improve their bids.”

The funding fair included speakers from organisations including Big Lottery and Comic Relief.

There was also a bid-writing workshop to help organisers understand what funding agencies are looking for and the Healthwatch North East Lincolnshire AGM took place at the same time.

This is where the organisation showcased the work they have been doing over the past year and share some of their plans for the future.

The funding fair was open to anyone who already works in an organisation that relies on funding or anyone who would like to start one.

Healthwatch chairman Michael Bateson said: “The funding fair will enable us to give the community the chance to see what is available from these funders.

“In fact the real thread is that in North East Lincolnshire it is fairly clear to see that we are missing out with funding opportunities. We need to work together better and use our partnerships to ensure we get as much funding as possible.”

One of those organisations to take part was the Gardiner Hill Foundation, who are part of the Grimsby-based local charity Navigo.

Trustee Jo Walker said: “We have all sorts of grants that patients can take advantage of. They can use it for education with college grants, or we even provide housing, too.

“Or if someone is going to an interview and don’t have the appropriate clothes, we can even fund that.”