Housing association Curo has supported community projects across the South West with 33 grants totalling £11,838.

The grants have helped fund diverse activities from communal meals to school play equipment, to sprucing up shared areas to hosting fun gala days. Projects share the goal of bringing communities together.

Bath Community Kitchen used its £500 grant to offer a free three-course meal every Thursday at the Lighthouse Centre in Twerton, Bath.

“We use surplus food that we collect from local Morrisons, Eades and Bookers stores,” says Rob Lewis, who helped set up the kitchen. “Our objective is to ensure that people in Bath have access to a delicious, healthy free meal, at a time when many people are struggling financially. The meals are an important way of reducing social isolation and building community. Plus, by using surplus food that would otherwise be wasted, we’re having a positive effect on the environment.”

Twerton Infant School and Nursery received a Curo grant of £500 to help improve their new playground.

Headteacher George Samios said: “We installed a multi-use play structure. It’s a house, an office, a fort – whatever children imagine it to be.”

The school was also able to install a new covered shelter. “This has proved popular with children who are seeking a quiet place to sit with friends,” added George.

A Curo grant of £250 helped transform a neglected patch of grass into a shared communal area for sheltered housing residents at St Mary’s Close, Timsbury. 

“The customers wanted a space that would inspire community spirit,” said Tricia Weisberg, Livewell team leader. “They asked for funding to paint the planters and benches and pay for new plants.”

It’s now a place for the customers to get together and have a chat and a cup of tea. “It has joined us all together,” one customer said.

Curo Communities Grants support two types of projects.

Up to £250 grants are available for those who require a fairly small amount of funding to make their activity a success. For example, a group may require some equipment to enable their activity to function, such as a shed to house garden equipment.

Grants from £251-£500 are available to those who require more substantial funds to run a project. For example, sports activities for young people or community fun days.

Those who could benefit from a grant should email [email protected] or download an application form: www.curo-group.co.uk/get-involved/where-you-live/curo-grants/