Devon County Council is giving more to support local organisations helping to tackle the effects of coronavirus in their communities, by introducing a new grant of up to £5,000 as part of the COVID 19 Prompt Action Fund.
There are now two separate grants available from the council through the fund; one of less than £500, which launched last week, and the new grant of up to £5,000.
The new grant has been opened to enable community groups to help a greater number of people in their local area and maintain their support for a longer period of time.
Payments for the new larger grant will be spread out to better support the expected expenditure throughout the lifetime of the project. The schedule of payments is flexible and will be different for each project, depending on when they need them.
Both have been introduced to provide help for local organisations and voluntary groups to safely support vulnerable people in their communities and tackle the economic and social impacts of coronavirus.
Over 100 applications for the smaller grant have already been received since it opened last week.
Applications are welcomed from organisations who can propose initiatives that help communities become more resilient. This may include safely addressing issues such as:
- Improving connectivity, by strengthening and developing virtual community networks, for example by organising telephone calls to elderly or lonely people, online chats or pen-pal schemes.
- Helping people to access services and information.
- Maintaining supplies of food, medicines and essential goods for those who are vulnerable or isolating.
- Supporting good mental health and wellbeing in the community by tackling loneliness and isolation.
As with the smaller grant fund this grant scheme is available to established not-for-profit Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) groups, Town and Parish councils, charities and local businesses in the Devon County Council area.
Groups without their own separate bank accounts may still apply but will need to do so with the support of an accountable organisation acting on their behalf such as a Town or Parish Council, Local Community or Voluntary Services organisation, a village hall or another established voluntary organisation.
Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “We are pleased to be able to offer community groups further support through the COVID 19 Prompt Action Fund.
“The outbreak of coronavirus means it’s a challenging time for many people and funding such as this can help communities to remain resilient and well-connected as well as support their most vulnerable residents safely.”
Further information about the application process can be found on Devon County Council’s website.
If you are having trouble applying or for other help and support please email COVID19FUND@devon.gov.uk with the subject ‘SUPPORT’.
Sign up for Devon County Council updates on coronavirus here – devon.cc/connectme
For the latest coronavirus advice in Devon visit devon.cc/covid-19