As part of East Suffolk Council’s response to the impact of Covid-19 on vulnerable residents, a new community fund of more than £70,000 has been launched to support those in need.
Cllr Steve Gallant, Leader of East Suffolk Council and Cllr Letitia Smith, Cabinet Member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism have agreed to allocate £1,000 from each of the 54 ward councillors’ 2020/21 Enabling Communities Budgets towards an East Suffolk Covid-19 Community Fund. In addition, each of the eight Community Partnership areas in the district has allocated £2,500 to the fund to tackle social isolation in relation to the current crisis.
Totalling £74,000, the fund will enable community groups and organisations to mobilise support for those residents who are most at need as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The fund will provide financial support for new and existing groups who are helping vulnerable people in their homes, and to relieve the financial hardship of residents during these uncertain times. Funding can be used in many ways, including the support of pop-up food banks, buying essential goods or services for individuals, supporting telephone befriending services or providing funding for fuel to enable Good Neighbour Scheme volunteers to deliver medicines across the district. The East Suffolk Communities Team, supported by redeployed East Suffolk staff, will be identifying individuals and groups who could benefit from the funding.
Cllr Letitia Smith said: “To ensure we can respond quickly to help ease the challenges faced by our residents during this crisis, the fund will have a straightforward application process and funding will be prioritised for those most in need. We will always provide support to our residents who are experiencing difficulties, and this is now more important than ever.”
Grants of between £50 and £2,500 will be available for projects which support local residents who are struggling due to the virus. Larger requests for funding will be considered under exceptional circumstances.
Anyone wishing to highlight a resident or group in need of support is asked to contact the Communities Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
This scheme sits alongside the county-wide ‘Home, But Not Alone’ service which is helping connect people who want to volunteer in their communities with neighbours who are most in need. Volunteers can download the free app, called ‘Tribe Volunteer’ from Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Anyone in genuine need of help is asked to call freephone 0800 876 6926.
In addition, the Suffolk Community Foundation are also offering grants to support community organisations with emergency funding as they deal with emerging issues caused by the Covid-19 outbreak: https://www.suffolkcf.org.uk/grants/