COMMUNITY groups across Leeds can apply now to get their hands on a piece of a £50,000 cashpot.
The Sport Relief Community Cash fund, which is backed by the Yorkshire Evening Post, offers grants of between £500 and £1,000 to small organisations in the city that are doing outstanding work to help local people who are living difficult lives.
And the YEP can today announce that applications are now open.
Grants will be given out with help from the Leeds Community Foundation, which will work alongside Sport Relief to help make sure that the grant money gets to the groups that need it most.
Speaking about the giveaway, YEP editor Nicola Furbisher said: “There are so many incredible community groups out there that go above and beyond for the people of Leeds. It’s time they had a helping hand.
“Hopefully they will seize the chance to apply for this wonderful giveaway.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for any groups that may be in need of a cash boost to help them provide that little something extra.
“Whether you are helping to support the elderly or giving young people the chance to grow and learn, we want to hear from you.”
She added: “The Community Cash giveaway is so rewarding because there are simply thousands of people that benefit every year and the money goes to so many good causes.
“Make sure you’re a part of it this year.”
Victoria Southwell, UK grants manager at Comic Relief, said: “Sport Relief is delighted to be working with the Yorkshire Evening Post and offering Sport Relief Community Cash once again to local groups across Leeds.
“We have funded some truly fantastic work in the local area and we are looking forward to seeing some new groups applying.”
She added: “Thanks to the hard work of these groups, money raised through Sport Relief can get right to the heart of the local community and make a real difference where it is most needed.
“I am urging as many groups as possible to get their applications in now for their chance to get a grant from the £50,000 on offer.”
Generous funding from Community Cash has proved vital for one Leeds group, helping them improve communication between children with Down Syndrome and their families.
Sunshine and Smiles aims to improve the lives and opportunities of children and families living with Down Syndrome in Leeds.
The charity has applied for Community Cash funding for the past three years and been successful every time, receiving a £1,000 grant each year.
The money has been spent on speech and language therapy sessions to help develop communication skills between the children and their family.
Ailith Harley-Roberts is one of the founding members of the group, which was set up in 2012 by a group of parents who all have children with Down syndrome.
She said: “When my daughter Thalia was born with Down Syndrome there wasn’t a specific support network in Leeds.
“Now we help more than 70 families.
“For us, the funding was the stepping stone for us to be able to provide such a critical service for children and their families.
“The children will generally have a delay in their communication and the speech and language therapy sessions have proved so important.
“The funding makes such a difference. We are really grateful for schemes like this because without it we wouldn’t be able to carry on and grow.”
She added: “We will be applying for Community Cash again this year and I would recommend it to every group out there.
“It’s an accessible pot of money and we had fantastic help from the Leeds Community Foundation who supported us with the application process and helped with any questions we had.”
Sunshine and smiles also provides music sessions and other activities.
For more, visit www.sunshineandsmiles.org.uk.
* To apply for a Sport Relief Community Cash grant, or for more information, visit www.leedscf.org.uk.
* Applications for Community Cash must be received before the deadline of Thursday, February 25.