The awards are decided on by each of Cornwall's 123 councillors. They can be for any amount between £100 and £1000. There are other rules, but they are not particularly restrictive so long as the money is going to help a group (new or existing) and the money will be used for a project rather than for core funding.
The great thing about these grants is that they often bring in far more money through match funding. So if I give a grant for £100, it can bring money from other sources, on average, of another £800. In some cases over the last four years, the 'leverage ratio' has been as much as 32-1 (ie £1 brings in £32).
In the past, the community chest funding has been £2195 per councillor per year. But this year we decided to use some of the small underspend in the council's budget to top up the community chest. We considered a range of different possible uses for the money and felt that the ability to help local groups and projects which are often finding fundraising tough was a good use of resources - particularly if it can bring in so much more in matched funding.
In Launceston, I have used my community chest in previous years to help establish the Launceston Loyalty Card, help set up the foodbank and money advice centre, and to help groups like the boxing club and a local art group to buy new equipment.
So if you are involved with a group or project in the Launceston area and you want to apply for funding from my community chest, get in touch. I won't make most decisions until the end of July (to give everyone the chance to apply) and I will be giving priority to projects where matched funding is being sought and which have not received any community chest money in the past. You can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07984 644138. I look forward to hearing from you.