Members of community groups from across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre will decide how a funding pot of £3,000 is spent at a special event this month.

More than 50 applications were submitted for the Fylde Coast Community Self Care Fund, made available by the local NHS and councils to empower people in the community to improve their health and wellbeing.

Charities and community clubs have bid for grants to fund projects such as community gardens, walking sports clubs, dementia-friendly activities and laughter yoga.

NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Blackpool Council, Wyre Council, Fylde Council and Lancashire County Council have made equal contributions to the pot as they work together to encourage more people to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing.

Dr Adam Janjua, a Fleetwood GP and lead clinician for the two CCGs, said: “We are dedicated to encouraging people to take a more positive approach to improving their health and wellbeing. Any little change can make a huge impact to a person’s physical or mental health.

“What is really good about this funding project is that we are letting the community decide who it is awarded to.”

Of the 54 applicants, almost 20 have been shortlisted as potential winners of the grants. The decision for who benefits from the cash boosts will be made following a vote among the shortlisted groups. The shortlisted groups will get together on Wednesday 18 March 2020 to put their projects to the vote with up to 10 of them getting a share of the £3,000 fund.

The initial 54 entries were shortlisted by a group including members of the public. One of the judges, Kirkham resident Jan Tilley, said: “We were amazed at how many applications we received from so many worthy causes. It goes to show just how much is going on in our communities to help support people and tackle issues at the heart of health and wellbeing.

“We want to support those groups as much as possible which is why it was so difficult to shortlist down to just 20 projects. All of them will have a huge impact on people’s lives no matter which of them eventually gets the funding.”