Volunteer groups in Merton will have £9.5 million worth of council funding to work with this year.

This is a reduction from the previous financial year however, but Merton Council says this is a result of the "overall reduction in local government funding from central government."

The funding was revealed following the publication of the Voluntary Sector Funding Database 2017/18, which includes details of cash grants, commissioned services, notional funding and discretionary rate relief given by each of the council’s departments.

Councillor Edith Macauley praised the work of volunteer groups around the area.

“We welcome the funding," she said.

"More often than not, local voluntary organisations are the bedrock of a community.

"As a borough we are fortunate to have a diverse variety of voluntary organisations who provide an essential helping hand to the lives of our residents, at whatever stage of life they may find themselves at."

A total of £9,658,906 is to be shared between 83 different voluntary groups across Merton for 2017/18.

A Collier's Wood care home for older people was the big winner from the announcement.

Central & Cecil Housing Trust in Cavendish Road was awarded slightly more than £800,000.

Ms Macauley said it was important that all sectors were represented in the funding.

“From supporting carers of older people with disabilities to funding holiday clubs for children it is imperative that we do what we can to ensure these groups continue to flourish and thrive so that all our residents can benefit from the exceptional services they provide,” she said.