Date published: 16 October 2020
West Lindsey District Council has allocated more than £50,000 from its COVID-19 Community Fund, which is helping to support local residents.
The fund, which is still open to applications, has funded 22 projects so far from across the district. The Council set up the fund in April in response to the issues created by the national lockdown and the impact this was having on local communities and has already allocated £50,509.
Cllr John McNeill, Vice Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee at West Lindsey Council said the Council needed to act quickly to offer support to vulnerable residents across the district.
He said: “With many clinically vulnerable people having to self-isolate, the impact on finances following job losses and the added extra pressure of parents having to feed their children who were off school – we realised we needed the support of our local communities.
“The initial calls for support centred on food and medicine provision with some funding going to food banks across the district and household goods support. Other groups focussed on resources to help children stay at home, as well as support for the disabled and vulnerable families.”
However, as the pandemic developed, the Council has found more applications are being focused around the longer term effects of lockdown, and has funded projects looking at mental health and wellbeing support.
Brookenby Community Group is one of the groups which has received funding as they are supporting people in Brookenby and Swinhope, including Kingsmead Park. The service ranges from collecting prescriptions to delivering a full weekly shop for residents who are self-isolating. The group has obtained a contactless card reader to ensure the whole process is compliant with social distancing and residents feel safe.
Mike Swannick Chairman of the group said: “This is a really small community, but we have a significant number of residents that are self-isolating because of their age. Our volunteers are doing this because they want to help, but the grant money has ensured they are not out of pocket which is great for their morale.”
Cllr Stephen Bunney deputy mayor of Market Rasen Town Council is a member of the Market Rasen Town Partnership, which supports residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
He said: “Our group has been supporting local families during COVID with schools not open we have delivered food parcels and collected prescriptions. We also run a meals on wheels friendly service, which is not just about the food, it is helping with people’s mental wellbeing by providing them with opportunities to speak and feel wanted. The people who have been helping out have benefited too as they have felt wanted and helping out has given them something to do. Our next step is getting people to support local shops and the economy.”
The COVID-19 Community Fund has so far been used to support a befriending service, shopping, online fitness sessions and much more.
Some of the projects which have received funding include:
- Think 2 Speak – emotional wellbeing and mental health support
- Bearded Fishermen – call centre start-up
- Scothern Recreation Service – village help service
- Disability Network CIC - support for disabled residents
- Tealby Community Shop - volunteer expenses and storage
- Vital Stepping Stones – online physical fitness sessions for vulnerable adults
- Connexions Community Hub – Community Learning Programme
For more information about the fund and to make an application please visit: www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/funding