The Community Grant Initiative, which was launched last year, aims to help communities in West Yorkshire increase their resilience and preparedness, ensuring they are ready in the event of a major incident.
In the initiative’s first year, over 20 organizations received funding ranging from £130 to £5,000.
Successful projects included offers of search and rescue equipment for mountain rescue teams, first aid training for community groups and funding to develop natural defenses against flooding.
The Theater Royal in Wakefield was one of the recipients of a defibrillator, as well as funding for first aid training for staff and volunteers.
Development Manager Sarah Shooter said: “Thanks to our LRF Community Grant, we were able to locate a defibrillator at the back of the theater right in the center of Wakefield and train our staff and volunteers to use it.
“We were also able to ensure that more people received potentially life-saving first aid training. This made us feel more resilient and confident as an organization, knowing that we could respond effectively, in a dire situation. both in our building and in the local area.”
A large number of requests for defibrillator units have also been received and, together with Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Wel Medical, West Yorkshire Prepared has provided 13 units for West Yorkshire communities, as well as funding for a solar-powered defibrillator for Wakefield Scouts.
Dave Walton, co-chairman of West Yorkshire Prepared and deputy fire chief of the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, added: “The funding we provided last year has made a real difference to the community groups who applied, increasing the flood resilience in flood-prone districts, ensuring communities are better prepared for medical emergencies and improving accessibility to community centres.
“We hope, once again, to encourage a wide range of organizations to apply, from across West Yorkshire.”
Any community or group of volunteers can apply, with applications particularly welcome from groups working in more deprived communities or areas where there are clear and present risks.
The deadline for submitting applications is December 31, 2022.