ICA has a long history of supporting local communities across Portland through its wide range of activities and services – the most recent being its COVID-19 support offer, which helped over 1,300 residents with more than 10,000 personal volunteer acts over the last year.
The new grant, amounting to £60,400 per year (£302,000 in total), will allow ICA to grow and evolve these activities and services.
Portland Town Council supported the application with a commitment to provide match funding over the five-year period. This proved to be a crucial factor in helping ICA to secure the grant.
Kathryn Pearce, Town Clerk explains, “We are very conscious of the high regard in which the local community holds ICA, and the Council has seen them deliver essential support services to vulnerable residents time and time again. ICA’s twenty years of experience helping the community, combined with their invaluable support during the COVID-19 pandemic, gives them a crucial insight into the needs of Portland residents wishing to live safe, healthy and independent lives. When ICA approached the Council with a proposal for the delivery of a range of essential services for Portland residents, the decision to offer funding made sense from both a practical and financial perspective. There are challenges ahead for many vulnerable residents that ICA can certainly help address.”
Kim Wilcocks, CEO for Island Community Action, added, “This award is not just fantastic news for us but also for Portland as a whole, particularly at a time of so much uncertainty. Of course, we will still need to raise additional match-funding over the next five years, but these contributions represent an incredible start. We are hugely grateful to both the National Lottery Community Fund and Portland Town Council for putting their faith in us.
“Our new offer, simply called, The Portland Project, aims ‘to help make life the best it can be’ for local residents and was created as direct result of ICA’s experience and ongoing consultation and engagement with the community and our partners. It also responds to the growing emphasis on community-based solutions and the equally important need for a collaborative reimagining around the delivery of services and support at a local level.
“COVID-19 showed the true value of community-based organisations like ourselves and the powerful and positive impact that local volunteers can have on the wellbeing of those they support (in addition to their own). We want to build on this with an even bigger emphasis on volunteering and an increased focus on prevention, social prescribing, life skills and new ways to improve physical, mental, and social wellbeing. The Portland Project will work collaboratively with others to share best practice, knowledge and resources, and to also help tackle a number of the challenges impacting local residents, including food poverty, independent living, loneliness, the environment and skills. In addition, we will increase our support for other local organisations and work with a broader range of age groups – two things that increased drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will also continue to strengthen our activities and services for Portland’s older residents.
“A massive thank you to all those that have supported us on our journey to date. We could not have achieved what we have without you and we look forward to working with you over the next five years to make an even bigger impact.”