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Partnership Funding from Borough Council Reaping Rewards

7 June 2022


West Devon Borough Council has been reflecting on how for the last three years, it has provided funding to nine key organisations that offer support and services for residents of the Borough.

The organisations to have received this funding are Citizens Advice Torridge, North, Mid and West Devon, West Devon CVS, OCRA (Okehampton Community and Recreation Association), Okehampton Community Transport, Tavistock Ring and Ride, Young Devon, Tamar Estuaries Consultative Forum, Tamar Valley AONB and the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site Partnership Board.

The funding, which was agreed in 2019, has helped these organisations have longer term financial certainty while offering important support services to the Borough's residents. This has proven especially significant during the COVID-19 pandemic, when revenue streams and normal activities were disrupted by lockdown and social distancing measures.

The organisations have each played an important role in not only supporting people through the pandemic and generally, but helping the Council deliver on its long term vision for West Devon as set out in its Plan for West Devon strategy, which was adopted by the authority in September 2021.

Cllr Paul Vachon, Hub Lead Member for Communities, said: "Offering our financial support to these nine groups is something that we've been delighted to do since agreeing to in 2019. Our residents get support and help from these groups in a variety of ways - and we want to make sure that the organisations can continue to offer this vital array of support to everyone living in West Devon.

"We had no way of knowing quite how important this funding would be in 2019, as it helped sustain the valuable work of these organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that working in partnership like this is essential to all of our communities."

On 7 June, the Council's Hub Committee agreed that they will liaise with the nine organisations to request updated funding applications, so that a possible further two year arrangement from March 2023 could be considered.

Such potential financial backing for these groups will help them continue to support people as West Devon navigates its way fully out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in support of the Council's ambitions for the health and wellbeing of all residents in the Borough.

The nine organisations to receive this funding are:

Citizens Advice Torridge, North, Mid and West Devon - £32,900 per annum.
Citizens Advice is the most significant funding partnership we have. They play an important role in supporting the health and wellbeing of West Devon residents by offering them advice and support on a range of issues, including housing, debt, finances and employment.

West Devon CVS - £5,100 per annum.
West Devon CVS exists to help local voluntary organisations, community groups and charities flourish. This proved even more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering much needed support including collection of food and essential medical suppliers.

OCRA - £1,333 per annum.
OCRA is a charity that aims to maintain and develop sporting and recreational opportunities for Okehampton and the surrounding areas. It does this through:

  • Delivering a programme of over 1,400 sessions annually
  • Taking sport and activity sessions out to satellite towns and villages
  • Delivering and supporting special needs and disability activity
  • Supporting the delivery of facilities - with recent projects including skateparks, all weather pitches, play areas etc.

Okehampton Community Transport - £6,533 per annum / Tavistock Ring and Ride - £6,533 per annum.
Both Okehampton Community Transport and Tavistock Ring and Ride schemes have seen volunteer drivers continue to offer vital transport throughout the pandemic and beyond. These services enable residents to maintain their independence and dignity and to also continue to live in their own homes whilst alleviating isolation and loneliness

Young Devon - £2,500 per annum.
Young Devon have utilised funding from West Devon Borough Council to fund a young people's counselling service in Tavistock for one day a week throughout the year, enabling young people to explore issues and allowing a safe space to disclose any problems and giving advice in possible ways to tackle those issues.

Tamar Estuaries Consultative Forum - £4,500 per annum. (Index linked)
The Tamar Estuaries are classified as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The consultative forum manages measures to protect the vulnerable features of the MPA through a collaborative approach with a number of other bodies.

Tamar Valley AONB - £8,835 per annum.
The AONB ensures we protect and enhance our natural environment, respond to the climate and biodiversity emergency. The AONB is a statutory designation and is of equal standing to a national park.

Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site - £4,000 per annum.
The partnership is the Steering Group for the World Heritage Site with Membership comprising Cornwall Council, Devon County Council and West Devon Borough Council - plus the National Trust. The funding we provide is invested in an annual work programme which is agreed by the three Councils, for projects that deliver the World Heritage Convention Objectives.

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