The COVID-19 Prompt Action Fund, launched by Devon County Council, has received 345 applications including 47 applications for the large grants of up to £5,000, in just four weeks.
A total of £59,385 has been donated to community projects so far.
In addition, Devon County Council has been joined in the fund by district councils in East Devon, North Devon, Teignbridge and Torridge, who have all contributed to jointly fund projects in their areas.
The grants have helped a wide range of groups including charities, community groups, Parish Councils and local businesses.
The financial support provided is helping communities in lots of ways, including:
- The purchase of cheap pay as you go mobiles so that helplines can be manned from home.
- Fuel costs for rural deliveries of essentials, foods, medicines.
- The expansion of food banks.
- Subscriptions for Apps that promote calm, meditation and reduce stress.
- The delivery of craft packs or care packs to community members.
- The delivery of breakfast packs to children who would normally attend a school breakfast club.
The Council is encouraging groups who are successful to share their positive stories of how they are helping their communities using #WeAreDevon and tagging us on Twitter @DevonCC, Facebook @OfficialDevonCC or Instagram @devoncountycouncil.
Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “It’s good to hear that our fund is helping to support such a wide range of community initiatives across the county. I would strongly encourage projects that need additional support to put in an application.
“Now more than ever, it is important that we keep supporting these groups so that they can continue their excellent work, reach more people within their communities and help those who are vulnerable.”
Councillor Ken James, Leader of Torridge District Council, said: “Very early on in this crisis Torridge councillors took the decision that the support of the vulnerable would be one of our top priorities. It was also clear that Parish Councils and Community groups would have a big part to play in all of this. This is why on top of our own spending we also provided funding directly to our parishes and also through the prompt action fund set up by Devon County Council. I am really pleased that so many have applied and that the money is being distributed to so many worthy endeavours to help people through this crisis. Hopefully this news will prompt further applications and initiatives.”
Councillor David Worden, Leader of North Devon Council, said: “We’ve been blown away by the community volunteering efforts during this pandemic and I’m delighted that we are now able to offer this financial help to them in partnership with Devon County Council in order to support them in the brilliant job they are doing out there for our most vulnerable residents in North Devon.”
Councillor Ben Ingham, Leader of East Devon District Council, said: “Our communities throughout Devon will need support in many different ways through the spring and into the summer. That is why it is essential we try to anticipate how we can help at short notice. Making money available to do this will make a tremendous difference to those in need. Everything we do makes our county a little bit safer.”
Councillor Martin Wrigley, Teignbridge District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Communities, said: “We are delighted to be part of this initiative. It is a good indication that by working together we can support more community groups and activities, in addition to the work we are doing with our local CVS.”
For more information about the COVID 19 Prompt Action Fund visit our website.
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For the latest coronavirus advice in Devon visit devon.cc/covid-19