£234,000 Funding Success for Voluntary Groups

Vulnerable families in Cannock and other parts of Staffordshire received vital Covid-19 survival packs and support, thanks to charity Family Action. The project helped families maintain their health and independence during the pandemic, with funding from the county council.

In Lichfield, Wade Street Church received over £490 to adapt their weekly lunch club to home delivery throughout the lockdowns. This helped ensure that vulnerable adults continued to receive support, a meal and were able to stay in contact with the church.

Children in Stafford received free activity packs to keep them entertained during the lockdowns, thanks to a project delivered by Hidden Warriors CIC. Funding of £200 for Fradswell Community Hub’s Boredom Beater Bags also helped to keep families entertained and to maintain good mental health, as part of the wider Fradswell Community SOS project.

These are just three of the community projects run by more than 200 organisations who received funding from the county council’s Covid-19 Support and Recovery Fund.

The groups shared a total of £234,000 on projects that have helped keep people independent, healthy and supported during the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to supporting local communities, the funding has also provided a vital lifeline to many voluntary groups, helping them get through the last eighteen months and has helped some groups to get on the road to starting their activities back up.

Talking about the fund, Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture at Staffordshire County Council said:

“Our Covid-19 Support and Recovery Fund saw a total of £4500 allocated to each County Councillor, to invest in projects that support local communities and the groups that provide the support.

“We’re really pleased with the success of the fund and how the relatively small amounts of funding have made such a difference to groups and within local communities. The voluntary sector have a vital role to play in helping make Staffordshire a great place to live and it’s important we do what we can to support them.

“Local county councillors know their communities best and because of this, we’ve seen some really great projects funded, which have made a real difference.

“Our new fund for 2021/22, which is slightly different to last year’s is also available and I would encourage people to talk to their local county councillor.”

Many of the groups funded were set up as a direct response to Covid-19, while other more established organisations used the funding to adjust the services they provide. Funding was also used to take support and services online, while others developed large networks of volunteers to help out. Projects also focused on activities and services to help keep people active, mentally engaged and feeling well.

In Newcastle, Chesterton Street Champions received £2000 from two councillors to help provide support for people in isolation or those affected by furlough or job losses. They formed around the Red Street Community Centre in Newcastle, with volunteers from Chesterton Salvation Army and Chesterton Primary School.

Barton Neighbourhood Volunteers used £750 to pick up on work started by the local Parish Council and used councillor funding to make themselves more sustainable and to be able to deliver support during the pandemic.

In South Staffs, Enville and Kinver Kobra used the initial £500 funding to adapt the support network they had created. They added new activities and competitions to keep people connected throughout the lockdowns.

Pennymoor Association Trust in Tamworth used £2,305 towards the cost of improving ventilation in their community centre to ensure they were Covid secure.

Groups from right across Staffordshire were successful and a full list of funded projects is available at https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Coronavirus/Help-and-support/COVID-19-Support-Fund/COVID-19-support-fund.aspx

The new 2021 Community Fund, which is now open for applications, is all about supporting groups to think about their future offer, how they will fundraise and how they will return to ideas which they were going to pursue before the pandemic began.  Further details are available at https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Your-council-and-democracy/Members/County-Councillors-Fund/County-Councillors-Fund.aspx

Tony Walley
Tony Walley
News & Sport Editor

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