The waiting was finally over for voluntary and community sector organisations this week as the Department of Health announced which ones had been successful in their bids for section 64 funding.
Under Section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968, the health secretary can make grants to voluntary organisations in England whose activities support DH policy priorities.
However, on-going budget problems in the DH meant the announcement was delayed by at least five months, creating uncertainty for charities and service-users up and down the country.
This week’s announcement confirms that more than 300 organisations will receive a share of the £17.2m grant for projects that promote health and well-being. Although the average grant is £47,000, some – including Drugscope, Terrence Higgins Trust and Carers UK – have been promised significantly more.
Apologising for the delay in announcing the successful bids, care minister Ivan Lewis blamed an internal review of DH finances.
“I appreciate the difficulties this caused to some organisations and want to apologise for this,” Lewis said. “I’m pleased the grants have now been awarded and work on these important projects can begin.”