Grants and donations have now been confirmed from a special fund created by Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe to aid the county’s recovery from Covid-19.
A total of 26 bids for funding have been accepted, amounting to more than £50,000 of help being given to a range of different initiatives across the county, both large and small and from all parts of the local area.
It brings the total amount of additional funding released this year by the Commissioner through local grants, donations and Covid-19 related government funding to almost £250,000.
Mr Seccombe launched the Covid-19 Recovery Fund in June to ensure that public sector organisations, voluntary groups, charities, social enterprises and community organisations working within the county could continue to provide their much-needed work in support of community safety.
Grants of up to £5,000 were available per organisation, while donations of up to £1,000 were also available for smaller community groups and projects that might not ordinarily have qualified for a full grant.
Announcing the successful bids, Mr Seccombe said: “With a range of county-wide and more local initiatives being funded, this money is being distributed across all parts of Warwickshire, including to a number of projects which have not previously received funding through my grants schemes.
“Many groups and charitable organisations have been faced with a double hit during the pandemic of reduced or curtailed opportunities to raise money while also needing to fund technology to support home-working or to meet increased demand for their support. I’ve been keen to ensure that Covid-19 does not impact the important work they do, so I’m pleased to able to offer them this short-term financial help.”
Among the beneficiaries are a number of projects providing youth support services and those working with vulnerable people, in recognition of the difficulties that lockdown and social distancing measures have imposed.
They include a grant of £4897.20 to Aspire in Arts, who will use the funding to enable qualified youth workers to visit the places young people have increasingly started to meet across North Warwickshire and Nuneaton & Bedworth districts. With schools having been closed during lockdown and youth centre provision continuing to be impacted, this will ensure better opportunities for engagement with young people in support services.
Also across the north of the county, mentoring and support group Cohort 4 receives £4536 towards the work of a Safe & Well Activity Coordinator. The social enterprise works with disadvantaged and vulnerable women, including those who are survivors of domestic abuse and sexual abuse or have mental health difficulties. The support provided by Cohort 4 helps them to remain safe, while also reducing the risk of harm and loneliness.
In Rugby, the Benn Partnership Centre will receive £3,848 for its Unity in Community project, which offers partnership services and support to young and adult black community members in the town, in light of the particular challenges that have been identified for this group during Covid-19.
In recognition of the heightened impact lockdown has had on people with substance abuse issues, a grant of £5,000 is being made to the ESH Community Residential Treatment Centre near Southam. This will help them to increase staff levels temporarily to provide additional support for essential drug and alcohol detox work.
Meanwhile, county-wide support services for the homeless or vulnerably-housed people will get a boost, thanks to an award of £1,000 to the Salvation Army. This will enable the expansion of emotional support and practical advice activities, currently being delivered through phone calls, to service users who have been hard hit by coronavirus.
Smaller donations include £250 each to the Ettington Community First Responders and Avon Valley Community First Responders schemes; £1,000 to Stratford Sea Cadets to help them resume activities safely and £250 to the Love Lillington Grant Fund, which is used to support vulnerable members of the community.
A full list of all of the projects supported by the Covid-19 Recovery Fund can be found on the Commissioner’s website at: www.warwickshire-pcc.gov.uk/covid-19-recovery-fund/