A FUND has returned for the second year that will improve community halls and fund social action projects.

Dorset Community Foundation and BCP Council have partnered for the second year of the BCP Thriving Communities Fund.

This gives grants of up to £3,000 for capital projects in community buildings and £5,000 for volunteer-led projects that improve lives.

The money can pay for new flooring, furniture, ovens and fridges as well as allowing groups to start projects they otherwise wouldn’t have funds for, that can make a huge difference to communities.

It uses funds awarded to the council through the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund, with the fund awarding more than £64,000 to 23 grassroots charities and voluntary groups last year.

Applications for the next round of funding closes on March 29.

One recipient last year was Townsend Community Association, which was awarded £1,379 for a new glass-fronted fridge for its Community Fridge project, shelving, an urn and litter picking equipment.

Community liaison officer, Caroline Green, said: “It will become the main fridge so volunteers are able to see the contents without opening the door and now our old fridge is used when we carry out additional donations.

“We are now carrying out over 50 pick-ups a week so additional storage space is needed.”

North Bournemouth Crime Prevention Panel was awarded £3,400 to run scam awareness sessions for groups.

Deirdre Redstone, project co-ordinator, said: “The grant enabled us to visit so many more organisations and groups to give talks and expand the project.”

Dorset Community Foundation director Grant Robson said: “I’m very pleased to be working with BCP Council and that we’ve supported it through each of the previous rounds of this fund.

“Our unrivalled knowledge of the voluntary sector right across Dorset, and the close relationship we have with the groups working within it, means the council can be sure that this money is getting to where it will make the most impact.”

For more information and to apply, visit the Dorset Community Foundation website.