MORE than £100,000 is up for grabs for projects that support children and families, older people and those affected by welfare reform.

The 3 Towns Area Action Partnership has four pots of funding– totalling £118,000– available to support projects that complement its priority areas.

AAP leaders are now encouraging community groups and not for profit organisations in Crook, Willington, Tow Law and surrounding villages to apply for a share of the money before next month's deadline.

Grants of £5,000 and above are available for projects that benefit children, young people, families and older people. This includes schemes that address poverty; help children and young people develop essential life skills; create opportunities for intergenerational activities; help older people to feel safer; and those that provide financial, advice, guidance and support to older people.

Grants of between £1,000 and £3,000 from the 3 Towns Youth Fund 2019/20 will support community-led youth initiatives to support the social and emotional development of young people aged 11 and over. Projects that allow young people to contribute positively to their communities are encouraged to apply.

The Older People’s Social Isolation Fund 2019/20 has grants of £5,000 and above and its small grants programme offers support of between £1,500 and £5,000 to help initiatives that improve social connectivity, emotional resilience and the wellbeing of isolated older people.

The AAP's Welfare Reform Fund 2019/20 makes grants of £5,000 or more to projects that provide benefits and debt advice, access to food and clothing banks and employability support. It can also help projects that tackle food poverty and work in partnership with the advice sector.

Sandy Denney, 3 Towns AAP co-ordinator, said: “We are delighted to announce the latest round of grants from these key funding pots.

"There are so many amazing community-led initiatives in our area, which are making a such a positive difference to people’s lives.

“By providing these grants, we aim to support and extend the fantastic work that is going on, ensuring people of all ages have the opportunities they need to lead full and happy lives.”

Any groups or organisations interested in applying for a grant can call the 3 Towns AAP team on 03000-267539 or email to discuss their project ideas and request an application pack. The deadline for applications and all supporting documents is 12pm on Thursday, December 12.

Applicants are advised that new projects should have a start date no earlier than April 2020 and initiatives that incorporate more than one theme are encouraged.