VOLUNTARY and community groups have the chance to pick up a grant of up to £500 to help provide projects in the community.

Local groups are invited to bid for a share of £16,000 as Redditch Borough Council launches its Stronger Communities grant funding for 2018/2019.

The grant funding is split into three rounds throughout the year and aims to support local, community-focused projects.

The first of the three rounds for this year opened on Monday, January 8.

Last year’s Stronger Communities grants funded a variety of projects including community planting and gardening projects across several areas within Redditch, training courses for young people, seaside trips, and drama and crafts projects.

Leader of the council, Bill Hartnett, said: “Our borough has always had a really strong sense of community and with the help of grant funding like this I hope to see it continue well into the future.

“The local community spirit is in no small part due to the work carried out by people in organisations and voluntary groups who dedicate their time and skills to projects across the borough.

“We remain committed to supporting these projects and appreciate their importance to our town. So if you have an idea that could contribute, apply for a grant today.”

Carers Careline received a grant last year to take Carers to the Palace Theatre.

Fiona Mitchell, chief officer, said: “Just having a bit of time away from their daily responsibilities helps”.

One of the carers involved said: “This is just so great! I can’t afford hobbies or leisure activities and rarely see family or friends, this was such a treat.”

The grants are made available to groups, which do not necessarily have to be formally constituted to apply, in three rounds every year as part of the borough council’s wider annual grants programme.

Applications can be made until 4pm on February 9.

To apply or for more details, go to redditchbc.gov.uk/grants.