COMMUNITY groups can now apply for grants to help people through the cost-of-living crisis.

The Our Communities Together appeal launched by the Free Press Series earlier this year has raised more than £1 million to help charities, voluntary and community organisations on the front line with projects that will support people through the crisis.

Applications are now open for groups to apply for the grants.

Free Press editor Gavin Thompson said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support from businesses and in particular the Welsh Government to our appeal.

“Now we need just as big a response from the community and voluntary sector. This money is to help you to support those in need. You are the people best placed to help people effectively and quickly.

“So please apply for the fund so that we can help you to do what you do so well.”

The fund is a partnership between Newsquest, publisher of the Free Press, and the Community Foundation Wales.

Richard Williams, chief executive of the foundation, said: “Grassroots groups and charities across Wales are providing essential support to people who are suffering as a result of the cost of living crisis. The groups themselves are struggling to meet rising costs which puts them at risk of being unable to deliver these vital services when demand is ever increasing.

"The Our Communities Together appeal has raised over £1m through generous donations from individuals and organisations across Wales. The fund is now open to applications from groups supporting vulnerable people to deal with the cost of living crisis.

"These grants will go a long way to ensuring that the organisations supporting those most in need can keep doing so now, and in the difficult months to come.”

In July 2022, three in ten people in Wales reported that their financial situation was affecting their physical health and four in ten said their mental health was suffering. Inflation has continued to be over 10 per cent since then, meaning the costs people face have continued to rise.

Free Press Series: Our Communities Together appeal logo

The appeal is looking to support groups which provide services and activities that make a big difference to local families and individuals who are facing crisis and hardship.

Groups that can demonstrate they are providing services to the community to help alleviate situations of crisis and hardship, can apply for grants of up to £5,000 a year, for up to three years, although to be able to apply for funding over more than one year the organisation will need to be able to show at least one set of annual accounts.

The grants are aimed at groups or organisations with an income below £500,000.

The fund is open to community-based charities and organisations – including charities, not for profit companies, community interest companies and social enterprises – supporting people in the local community as a direct result of the cost of living crisis.

Applications can be made online here but organisations can talk to grants officer from the foundation first for guidance.