VOLUNTARY and community groups throughout Worcestershire are being invited to bid for a slice of £7,000 being made available by Worcestershire County Council to support community initiatives.

Round 10 of the VCS Grants Scheme, which is run by the council's Voluntary and Community Sector Unit, is now open and local groups can apply for support to help their activities benefit the local community.

Grants are available to help VCS organisations celebrate diversity through raising knowledge and understanding and encouraging interaction among different cultures, backgrounds and social needs in their areas.

Previous recipients of this grant include an organisation which held an open day in their area to celebrate the diversity of deafness and British Sign Language and the history and culture of deaf people, while another worked with drama students to create a piece of theatre encouraging better understanding of traveller communities.

The maximum an organisation can apply for is £1,000 and they have until 4pm on Friday, October 5 to get their applications in.

For background information about the VCS Grants scheme and information about when funding is available throughout the year, see www.worcestershire.gov.uk/voluntary

Applications can be handed in to County Hall or posted via recorded delivery to: Suzy James, VCS Unit, Adult & Community Services, Worcestershire County Council, County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2NP. Alternatively, e-mail gwills@worcestershire.gov.uk .