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SPAR Community Cashback Opportunity

The convenience group SPAR is currently running a Community Cashback scheme, which will give grants of up to £10,000 to local voluntary or community organisations and charities.

Members of the public can nominate an organisation or charity they feel deserves funding. All you need to do is fill in the application form on the SPAR website, which can be accessed here: Community Cashback apply | SPAR

Why should you nominate us?

Citizens Advice Hart is a charity offering free, independent, and confidential advice to anyone and everyone residing within the Hart District. We provide support with issues as wide-ranging as benefits claims and appeals, housing disputes, employment problems, managing household finances and utility bills, family and relationship troubles, and consumer-related queries. Our aim is to ensure that our clients leave us with the tools and confidence they need to help themselves in the future.

The cost-of-living crisis has caused a huge inundation of clients needing to access our services as they are forced to make tough decisions on how to spend their money. We have recently established our Energy Advice Service, which allows us to identify the clients most in need of help with utilities and offer them a tailored advice appointment on how to maximise their budget to pay their ever-increasing energy bills.

Another resource is our Advice First Aid Project, which provides free training to local groups and individuals, allowing them to deliver initial guidance to vulnerable members of the community and refer into Citizens Advice when needed. Since the project’s commencement, we have trained 78 delegates over 25 organisations, and are now booking for 2023 training dates.

Our Outreach Project has been designed to make sure we can offer advice to all members of the community, regardless of whether they are able to get to our offices. As well as providing support online, via email, and over the phone, we are currently scouting for venues where we can set up local ‘clinics’, so that we can come to our clients. We want to reach every single member of our community who needs our help, especially the elderly and those with disabilities, so outreach is fundamental to our approach.

What would we spend the grant on?

In order to continue providing the service we already run, as well as increase our capacity to help even more people within the local community, we urgently need to strengthen our workforce. That is why we would use the grant money to recruit new volunteers and train them to be assessors and advisors; by doing this, we would be able to offer much-needed advice to a greater number of Hart residents through a variety of different channels. The recruitment and training of new volunteers is long and intensive, due to the huge amount of knowledge required to offer the best possible advice, so the grant money would go a long way in improving this service and hopefully shortening our clients’ waiting times. We know that there are a lot of people out there who want to give back to their local community; our job is to help them to help others.

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