SMALL grassroots community groups in Somerset could be in line for windfalls of up to £1,500 under a new scheme launched in the county.

Organisations running on less than £50,000 a year can apply for the cash from the newly launched Somerset Fund.

The deadline for applying for the money, which can be used for 'unrestricted' items including running costs, is Friday, February 22.

Laura Blake, development director at Somerset Community Foundation, which is managing the scheme, said: "We created The Somerset Fund to offer a simpler and more effective way for local businesses to give to good causes across Somerset.

"Donating through the Somerset Fund helps to free up precious time by giving businesses the choice of either supporting good causes across the county or focusing their giving in one of the five Somerset districts.

"We’ll find great causes that need funding, assess applications and report back on the difference your donations have made.

"You’ll also have the opportunity to come together with other supporters and hear from projects you’ve supported. And, thanks to match funding, donations to the fund could be increased by 80 per cent or more.

"We are delighted to now be in a position to start distributing the Somerset businesses’ donations and would encourage grassroots charities to apply for funding before the deadline."

The Somerset Fund will support local people of all ages by investing in a range of causes, including:

•giving the best start in life to the most disadvantaged children;

•growing the life skills of young people;

•improving the mental health of people of all ages;

•increasing opportunities for better physical health;

•supporting people with disabilities and life-limiting illnesses, and their carers;

•combatting loneliness and isolation.

If you run a business and would like to find out more about how you could increase the impact of your giving, visit or contact Laura Blake on 01749-344949 or

If you are involved in a local, grassroots community project and want to find out more about how to apply for funding, or call 01749 344949.