Funders have changed the direction of a £25,000 grants scheme, so the cash can go directly to County Durham projects that address the rising cost of living.
Affordable housing provider believe housing has temporarily closed its community grants scheme, so the money can be used for a new Keep Warm, Keep Well fund.
Not-for-profit groups in County Durham can apply for £500 towards new initiatives, or to sustain existing activities, that will support people this winter.
“We know times are tough, and people will feel that even more when the cold weather bites,” said Damian Pearson, from the Community Investment Team at believe housing.
“To help, we have repurposed our community grants funding so the money can support projects that get to the heart of issues our customers and communities are facing right now.”
Community groups must meet certain criteria to receive a grant, but the range of projects the Keep Warm, Keep Well fund can support is varied.
For example, a grant could help pay for activities or refreshments at a Warm Space venue or food for a Christmas event, lunch club or meal delivery.
Funding could help an organisation provide essential items for people at home, such as blankets, hot water bottles and flasks, or to offer energy efficiency advice.
The money could be used to support a foodbank, clothing bank or community pantry, or help a group buy a community washing machine or fridge freezer.
Damian added: “This funding is about looking after people, when and how they need it.
“We’ll help organisations to respond to the specific needs of their community.
“That could mean supporting an existing group to continue through the winter, or a new initiative that will help people stay warm and well at home.
“A grant could also pay for food and activities that bring people together, supporting physical, mental and social wellbeing, which are all so important.”
Further information about believe housing’s new Keep Warm, Keep Well grants can be found here.