VOLUNTARY and community sector (VCS) organisations in Hartlepool are being invited to bid for grants to help them provide support to local people, with a particular focus on tackling family poverty.

A total of £75,000 is available via category 4 of Hartlepool Borough Council’s 2014/15 Community Pool to help fund town-wide specialist services that give personal support to individual residents, especially at times of crisis.

Individual grants of up to £10,000 are available to organisations to cover the core costs of providing such services, including rent, heating, lighting, administration and staff.

Fiona Stanforth, Community Regeneration Officer in the Council’s Community Regeneration and Development Team, said: “For the first time we are also asking all applicants to demonstrate how grant assistance from the Community Pool will help them to directly address issues associated with family poverty.”

Grant application forms and guidance are available on the Council’s website, The deadline for all applications to be submitted electronically via the North East Procurement Organisation portal is noon on Thursday, February 27.

VCS organisations and groups will be able to find out more at a special briefing session to be held at the Belle Vue Centre at 5pm on Monday (February 17).

Organisations and groups wishing to attend are asked to contact Hartlepool Voluntary Development Agency (HVDA) on 01429-262641 to register an interest. HVDA is also able to provide support with regard to the Community Pool grant application process.