AS Covid restrictions continue to ease, a charity is helping small community groups come out of ‘hibernation.’

Durham Community Action are working with the Ballinger Charitable Trust this Summer to distribute a small number of grants across Derwent Valley, Teesdale and Weardale to support community groups to re-emerge from ‘Covid hibernation’.

The Ballinger Charitable Trust approached Durham Community Action to facilitate the delivery of the small grants programme to community groups with eligible project ideas.

Shortlisted groups will be invited to present their projects to trustees of the Ballinger Charitable Trust during an online event.

Durham Community Action is a well-established charity that provides support to communities across County Durham.

They offer impartial advice, promote better health, support volunteering, enable enterprise and get voices heard.

Kate Burrows, Community Support Manager at Durham Community Action, said: “Community development and the provision of advice, support and guidance is at the heart of what we do at Durham Community Action.

“We believe these micro grants will help volunteer led community organisations to have local conversations about issues that are important to them.

“Working with the Ballinger Charitable Trust this Summer will see micro grants be offered to 12 community groups across County Durham which will help them re-emerge out of Covid hibernation.

“We are proud to be working with Ballinger Charitable Trust to enable our communities to thrive after lockdown.”

The event scheduled for July will see a small grant of £500 go to shortlisted community groups or small charities within Derwent Valley, Teesdale and Weardale Area Action Partnerships, with four organisations selected from each area.

The online event will give shortlisted groups the opportunity to chat with Andrew Ballinger and John Flynn, Trustees of Ballinger Charitable Trust, about their organisation, how they benefit the community, what they will use the grant money for and how the grant will help the development of the group.

Mr Ballinger said: “A community micro-grants event is an excellent way for a grant funder to informally meet and support community groups that it wouldn’t normally come across.

“Each grant will hopefully prove meaningful in supporting each group’s local community work.

“The Trust has run several of these events across the region, but it is the first-time meeting community groups from these areas of County Durham, and we are looking forward to learning of their important work.”

Expression of interest forms for community groups are to be completed by June 18.

Anyone interested is asked to email