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Housing association funding boost supports virtual cooking sessions to tackle isolation

Jun 26, 2020 | Local News

A series of new virtual walks and cooking sessions to tackle isolation during the coronavirus pandemic have been supported by funding from a leading housing association.

New IT equipment to help former armed forces personnel take part in virtual sessions while social distancing measures are in place has been funded by believe housing’s Coronavirus Crisis Fund. County Durham based charity

Finchale Group has received £500 to buy new tablet computers that will allow the virtual activities to take place.

Demand for support from veterans has risen significantly during the coronavirus crisis, with feelings of loneliness and isolation being among the most common issues. The ‘Helping Hands’ project aims to tackle those problems by creating new virtual opportunities for ex-forces personnel to meet and talk.

The project will be running at least one virtual walk each week alongside virtual cookery sessions. Everyone taking part will also be offered practical assistance with tasks like shopping and support on issues including employment and managing finances.

Joanne Rouse, from the team at believe housing that is improving services for current and former forces personnel, said: “We’ve got a strong commitment to supporting the armed forces in everything we do, so we were very pleased to be able to support this project. Our Coronavirus Crisis Fund was created to help people in all walks of life during the pandemic.”

Jacqui Nicholson from Finchale Group said: “The support from believe housing has been vital in helping us to ensure that veterans remain safe and engaged during these worrying times. Our team have worked tirelessly to develop activities and have ensured that everyone who wants to take part has been able to do so. With the support of our friends from believe housing, we are proud to be able to give something back to veterans.”

believe housing has signed up to the nationally recognised Armed Forces Covenant scheme that ensures veterans and the families of serving forces personnel receive the support they need. Anyone currently serving in the forces is given extra priority when applying for a home. The covenant also gives the same priority to anyone who has left active service within the last five years and spouses of armed forces personnel.