HELPING to deliver emergency PPE, support for children and families, home-schooling information, and mental health advice are some of the projects supporting communities through the Coronavirus pandemic.
The new COVID-19 Support Fund launched by Staffordshire County Council has already supported more than 80 organisations, and councillors have earmarked over £110,000 for applications across the county.
The funding is being made available to voluntary and community groups setting up new projects to help to support people through the crisis, or to keep their own activities and services running. Projects include those helping people who are self-isolating or are in quarantine, or to help develop a network of local volunteers, or to help existing voluntary groups to keep going if they are experiencing a lack of income.
The Here to Hear Listening Service was set up by Renew Church in Uttoxeter to provide support to help those affected by Covid-19. The service received £1,000 and now allows people from the local community to speak to a trained volunteer who would be able to listen and offer basic guidance and support to them.
The Pathway Project in Lichfield received £3,500 for cleaning materials and safety equipment to ensure that a crucial domestic abuse refuge could remain open and safe.
Shield Tamworth is a Tamworth Round Table led project which has also benefited from the fund. The funding helped the group to manufacture and distribute free PPE face shields to NHS health professionals and care providers in the town. The group aim to support the national effort to contain coronavirus by helping protect front line workers and received £2400 funding towards the cost of the project.
Philip Atkins, Leader at Staffordshire County Council said: “We have real community spirit and a strong voluntary sector here in Staffordshire, all playing a key role in supporting some of our most vulnerable and isolated residents.
“It’s really encouraging to see so many groups applying for the funding and coming forward with innovative projects to help people through the pandemic and in some cases save lives.
“The ‘Here to Hear’ and ‘Shield Tamworth’ projects are just two examples that show how such fairly simple ideas can help to make such a huge difference to people’s lives.
“This fund is all about supporting communities which it is doing, and to make sure that the voluntary sector continues to thrive now and after the crisis.
“There is still time to apply to the fund and I would encourage groups to get in touch with their local county councillor in the first instance.
“We’re all in this fight against Coronavirus together, but if we look out for each other and pull together I know we will beat it.”
Each county councillor had £2,500 to support community groups in their area, and people should speak to their local county councillor about making an application.
Information on the Covid-19 Support Fund and contact details for all county councillors is available at www.staffordshire.gov.uk
Pictured: Staffordshire County Council Leader Philip Atkins.