Help with benefit reforms approved

A SUPPORT programme is being set up in Adur to help people struggling with welfare and benefit reforms.

The investment by Adur Council is for residents in the district only, subject to matched government funding.

A total of £42,257 was carried forward from last year’s Adur Competitive Community Grants Budget, to help with community support in dealing with the benefit reforms.

Cllr David Simmons, Adur cabinet member for health and wellbeing said: “I intend to apply this funding to a support programme, subject to matched funding from the DWP, to assist local people who have difficulties in accessing the current system.

“This will particularly benefit those who have difficulty with IT systems, as well as the five neighbourhood improvement areas.”

The programme will be managed by the council’s communities team and provided by voluntary sector organisations across Adur.

Cllr Simmons pointed out: “Should the DWP wish to extend the programme to Worthing, then that will be subject of a separate funding bid in Worthing, as the investment in Adur is purely for Adur residents.”

The announcement came as part of the second round of 2013/14 community grants approved by Cllr Simmons.

A total of eight grants were agreed, but Fishersgate Amateur Boxing Club lost out in its bit for £3,891.89 to move to a permanent home in the Fishersgate Centre.

The club said the grant would equip a fully-functioning boxing gym but Cllr Simmons was concerned the equipment would ‘preclude the use of a significant part of the Fishersgate Community Centre to other members of the community’.

He said there was insufficient information on the likely take-up in Fishersgate and that the move from Hove could mean a number of members from outside the Adur district.

Electric Storm Youth in Lancing was given £700 to set up a Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, provided it worked with Shoreham Academy and Sir Robert Woodard Academy to develop a joint approach.

SASBAH was also told to link in with these award schemes, as a condition of its £3,000 grant to continue its adviser service, social programme and buddy scheme in the district.

A new befriending service, the Guardian Angels support group, was given £5,000 to set up a scheme for adults and young people affected by abuse.

Cllr Simmons said: “While they have a long way to go to ensure the viability of Guardian Angels, there is clearly support for such a service and from professionals working in the field, so the grant reflects the need for a minimum of £5,000 to be in the bank account in order to register as a charity.”

He said the group should work to better co-ordinate services across West Sussex, with a clear focus on people living in Adur.

Charity 4Sight was given £5,000 towards a new community hub service, to complement work at its centre in Shoreham.

Grants also went to Albion in the Community for Friday Night Football, Freedom Powerchairs in Lancing, Lancing United Football Club and Lancing’s Christmas event, Adur Sea of Lights.