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Individuals and local groups have made the difference during lockdown

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One year on – A Day of Reflection

Community organisations have played a significant part in Devon’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, quickly mobilising to ensure vital support reached those who needed it most.

Their efforts have been supported with funds totalling more than £625,000 from Devon County Council, in grants set up at the start of the first lockdown.

Since March 2020, 622 individuals and groups have received such funding to support local projects.

Funding has been given to a diverse range of local projects, including delivery of essential goods and services to people who are vulnerable; practical support for accessing online information; projects that help people stay connected to support mental health and wellbeing; and transport-related initiatives that support safe travel in the community.

One such project is Uplift Devon, in Mid and East Devon. At a time when many families have found it especially challenging financially, Uplift Devon supports families that are living in poverty, providing them with donated clothing and other essential items.

Heidi Carlyon and her team have supported around 223 families with children.

“We learnt that many families like to give back,” said John Timperley, Founder and Chair of Uplift Devon.  “The clothes that we gave, they washed and returned them once the child had grown out of them.”

With funding, the project has expanded and allowed them to open Uplift projects and Baby Banks in Ottery St Mary and help more families.

And families have been very grateful:

“Thank you so much for your support,” said one single dad with three children. “It was amazing to receive your delivery. It has helped me hugely. Thank you.”

“Oh wow, bless your hearts, thank you,” said a single mum. “I’ve been panicking about what I was going to do. Thank you.”

“Thank you for our delivery,” said a dad, who has lost his job and has a new born baby. “You’ve literally saved us. We didn’t know what to do.”

“We lost so much,” said one family who lost everything in a house fire. “Thank you for your support and help. We just don’t know how to thank you.”