A new fund for communities during the coronavirus lockdown has directly helped more than 1,750 people in just three weeks.
The believe housing Coronavirus Crisis Fund was launched last month to provide targeted assistance to communities that were struggling with the effects of the lockdown. The funding is directed to community groups in most parts of County Durham, and some neighbouring areas, to keep vulnerable people connected and to provide help with food at a time when many people are seeing new financial difficulties due to the economic impact of the virus.
So far nearly 700 people have benefited from food packs as a result of funding. Projects that have received funding include the Angel Trust, which received £1,000 to distribute food parcels to doorsteps of those in urgent needs while adhering to all distancing guidance.
Seaham Youth and Community Centre also received £500 to distribute scores of activity packs to families to reduce feelings of isolation during the lockdown.
In total more than £10,000 has been distributed by the fund since it was launched.
The Coronavirus Crisis Fund follows the same model as believe housing’s hugely successful community grant programme. Applications for grants of up to £500 are still open to community groups, organisations or schools that work in areas covered by believe housing. A simple application process will be maintained to ensure that fast turnaround funding decisions can take place and get work underway.
Groups that have previously received funding from believe housing’s standard community investment scheme will be eligible to apply for funding again under the crisis fund alongside groups that have not previously been given support.
believe housing’s Community Investment Team Leader, Angela Stobbart, said: “The demand we’ve seen for funding has been exceptional. We’re really pleased to have been able to help so many groups so quickly.
“The whole idea behind the crisis fund was to help as many communities as we could, as quickly as possible. And we’re already achieving that. But we’re still open for applications too, so I’d ask anyone who has a project that they think we might be able to help with, to get in touch.”