A county council fund that has already provided a £155,000 lifeline to help communities through Coronavirus is to be extended.
Kinver and Enville Kobra in South Staffordshire received funding to help support a network of over 150 volunteers to help vulnerable residents with essential tasks like collecting shopping and prescriptions. Now, the same group will be using additional funding to help their community groups to recover from the crisis, for example, supporting them to purchase cleaning materials and to find larger venues which enable social distancing.
Staffordshire County Council’s COVID-19 Support Fund has already helped over 100 organisations and groups, and is now making a further £124,000 available.
The money is available to help groups to recover and adapt, and to get their activities up and running again, as well as to continue supporting people through the crisis.
Projects already funded included those helping people who were self-isolating, a telephone support service, a digital befriending scheme and online wellbeing resources and platforms for young people and adults.
Philip Atkins, Leader at Staffordshire County Council said: “The voluntary and community sector continue to play a vital role in Staffordshire, helping to make people’s lives better every day and it’s important we do what we can to support them through these tough times recovering from the effects of the pandemic.
“It has been really encouraging to see so many groups take up the funding offer and see the difference it’s making in our local communities.
“We have real community spirit here in Staffordshire that we don’t want to lose which is why we’re making this extra funding available. It won’t just help communities get through Coronavirus here and now but will make sure that the voluntary sector continues to thrive now and after the crisis.”
Talking about the funding, Steve Anderson, from Kinver and Enville Kobra said: “We are enormously grateful for the financial support we have received from the county council and the impact it is having on our ability to support local residents through the Coronavirus crisis.”
Other projects funded in the initial phase include, the Pathway Project in Lichfield that received £3500 for cleaning materials and safety equipment to ensure that a crucial domestic abuse refuge could remain open and safe.
In Hednesford and Rawnsley, funding for a project by Fireworks helped the group develop and distribute mindfulness packs for children and young people with anxiety or who have been impacted by Coronavirus.
Shield Tamworth is a Tamworth Round Table led project which has also benefited from the fund. The £2,400 funding helped the group to manufacture and distribute free PPE face shields to NHS health professionals and care providers in the town.
In Uttoxeter, the Here to Hear Listening Service set up by Renew Church also received £1,000 to provide telephone support to help those impacted by Coronavirus.
In March 2020, each county councillor was given £2,500 to support community groups in their area, but they now have a further £2,000 available.
Community groups interested in making an application for the fund should speak to their local county councillor in the first instance. Groups have until 30 October 2020 to make their application.
Information on the Covid-19 Recovery Fund and contact details for all county councillors is available at www.staffordshire.gov.uk