As part of its response to Covid-19, East Suffolk Council has now handed over more than £100,000 to local community groups and organisations who are providing support for residents most in need.
To date, over £102,000 has been distributed to more than 60 groups across East Suffolk enabling them to provide vital services and support to those who need it the most during the crisis. This includes Aldeburgh Good Neighbours Scheme, Beccles During Covid-19, Woodbridge Emergency Response Group, Suffolk Age UK, Supporting Lowestoft as well as local town and parish councils.
In March, it was agreed that all 54 East Suffolk ward councillors would donate £1,000 from their 2020/21 Enabling Communities Budgets towards an East Suffolk Covid-19 Community Fund. In addition, the Community Partnership Board allocated £20,000 to the fund to tackle social isolation in relation to the current crisis.
Due to the success of the fund, councillors committed a further £60,000 in April, taking the total funding available to £134,000. This has enabled groups to continue providing vital services and support to vulnerable residents, such as delivering food or medicines, supporting those experiencing financial hardship and setting up telephone lines to support those feeling isolated.
Cllr Letitia Smith, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism said: “Much of the support which is being provided to vulnerable people in our communities is done so through local groups and their volunteers. These organisations are a lifeline for many people and make an incredible difference to the lives of those in need. I am delighted that we have given more than £100,000 to these groups to help them continue their vital work.
“It is important to stress that the Community Fund is not a Government fund which the Council is administering. This is funding provided directly by the Council and is something which all our councillors are committed to, as it directly supports our communities during these uncertain times.”
Grants of between £50 and £2,500 are available for projects which support local residents who are struggling due to the virus. Larger requests for funding will be considered under exceptional circumstances.