Food parcels and essential items are being delivered to vulnerable residents in East Durham thanks to a council funding grant.
East Durham Area Action Partnership (AAP) has awarded funding to a number of community groups as they support those who are vulnerable and isolated during the coronavirus outbreak.
The money has been given to East Durham AAP by Durham County Council, as part of a £1.4 million coronavirus support fund, which has been shared between the council’s 14 AAPs to ensure projects can continue to help those in need during the outbreak.
Part of this money has allowed groups in East Durham to deliver meals, food parcels, essential items and support packs to those who need them.
Around £4,000 has been awarded to East Durham Trust, which has seen a 400 per cent increase in requests for food parcels since the lockdown began.
The trust has recruited around 20 new volunteers in response to the demand and, building on its existing People’s Takeaway service, has been working with community groups in the area to deliver meals to isolated people.
Malcolm Fallow, Chief Executive of East Durham Trust, said: “Although it is difficult to focus on positives during this awful crisis there is much to be admired in the community and the support being shown in this time of need.
“It has been great to see the council take such a proactive role in responding to this crisis and this money will help to deliver hundreds of meals to isolated people.”
Another £4,800 has been awarded to Dawdon Youth and Community Centre to help support its foodbank, allowing it to expand the service to include hot meal deliveries.
In the last two weeks, Dawdon Youth and Community Centre has delivered more than 450 food parcels and meals to the community as part of its coronavirus support service.
The centre is also offering art and activity packs and packed lunch services to families who are struggling during school closures.
Meanwhile, Murton Parish Council has been awarded £3,000 to deliver much-needed emergency food parcels to residents who are in isolation.
This funding will allow the parish council to deliver more than 600 parcels to those in the community.
Cllr Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “This coronavirus support fund will go a long way to making sure that vulnerable and isolated residents are receiving the help they need while they are protecting themselves during this pandemic.
“There are a number of great community organisations in East Durham, and in the rest of the county, who are doing all they can to support these people in a difficult time. As a council, we are also doing what we can to support these organisations and our residents.”
East Durham AAP is one of 14 AAPs working with communities to identify local priorities and, using funding given to them by the council, acting to ensure vital projects continue to support vulnerable people.
For more information about the East Durham Trust, Dawdon Youth and Community Centre or Murton Parish Council’s services, visit www.eastdurhamtrust.org.uk/, www.facebook.com/DawdonYouthAndCommunityCentre/, or www.murtonparish.org.uk/contact-us.html