12 May 2010

A chance to improve disabled children’s lives through the creation of more short breaks in the county has been made achievable thanks to new funding.

Northamptonshire County Council has set aside £400,000 which individuals, organisations and community groups can bid for a slice of to fund the purchase of equipment or buildings that will increase the range and number short breaks available in the county.

They will be awarded to successful applicants who will improve the quantity, quality and range of the available provision for families in areas such as after school clubs, transport for short breaks and childminding.

As the funding is a capital grant from the government it cannot be used for ‘revenue’ purposes, e.g. purchase of services.

It could be used to enhance an existing short break with equipment including powered wheelchairs, specialist play equipment or sensory room equipment.

The grants available range from £2,500 to £20,000 and the closing date for applications is 5:00 p.m. on June 30th.

Cabinet member for children and young people Councillor Andrew Grant said: "During 2008, a massive consultation exercise took place to look at all the services that are currently available for disabled children and their families to find out what they thought of the services provided and what could be done to really make a difference to their lives.

“From this, the message was loud and clear that the priority was for a range of appropriate short breaks, support for siblings of disabled children and improvements in transport.

“Successful applicants will be able to use the money to improve the lives of disabled children and their family’s and the county council will be fulfilling one of its core purpose of helping people to help themselves.”

There are different ways to complete the application form. You can;

Download it from www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/aiminghigh

or request one by e-mailing rberesford@northamptonshire.gov.uk

If you would like an informal discussion about your proposal please contact Ralph Beresford, project lead officer for the Aiming High Capital Grant on 01604 237219.