Voluntary groups have been praised for their ‘remarkable’ response to a scheme aiming to support the most vulnerable across Leicestershire during COVID-19.
The Communities Fund was launched so that organisations were able to continue to carry out vital work across the county, despite the impact coronavirus is having on their finances.
It saw 245 community and voluntary groups apply for a slice of a £1.5m pot – with the amount applied for exceeding £3m.
The third, and final, round of the fund has seen £486,000 awarded to 62 groups.
A charity that supports older people and the most vulnerable in Syston was awarded £5,000 of the funding, meaning that those in need are still able to access the service.
This grant has enabled us to keep our office open at a time when coronavirus forced us to stop all our community activities, and all our income had ceased.
“Using community volunteers coordinated by our office staff we have quickly set up a telephone support service for the elderly and most vulnerable in the Syston area. So far, we have supported over 140 people, and carried out more than 200 tasks for them including collecting prescriptions, shopping, signposting to other organisations and providing help for many other essential services.Person:Elaine Connor, from Age Concern Syston
As part of the fund, the council also focused on ensuring that local radio stations received some funding to enable vital COVID-19 messages to be communicated to listeners.
The response we have had to the Communities Fund has been nothing short of remarkable.
“I’m happy to announce that we’ve awarded all of the £1.5m fund to 160 groups. It’s great to see that groups are doing all they can to keep communities thriving during these challenging times and I’m proud that we’ve been a part of it.
“It’s never been more important for communities to band together and support each other. These awards will help groups to continue their crucial work and step up activities to support vulnerable people and those isolating.
“This fund enables people to stay safe by staying at home and ultimately, saves lives. I’d like to thank our volunteers and community groups for their fantastic work and for keeping the community spirit going.Person:Nick Rushton, leader of the county council
Groups receiving the funds to support vulnerable and isolated people operate in the following areas:
- Blaby (three groups) - £12,537
- Charnwood (21 groups) - £206,344
- Harborough (14 groups) - £110,613
- Hinckley & Bosworth (10 groups) £121,662
- Leicester & Leicestershire (eight groups) - £42,844
- Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (11 groups) - £85,671
- Leicestershire (55 groups) - £543,953
- Leicestershire & Rutland (two groups) - £33,636
- Melton (15 groups) - £112,628
- North West Leicestershire (16 groups) - £167,311
- Oadby & Wigston (four groups) - £41,938