Council’s extra support to keep key community services running in 2nd lockdown
During the coronavirus pandemic, Telford & Wrekin Council has supported many community organisations to offer vital help for people across the borough.
To help these groups deal with the extra pressures and demand created the second national lockdown, the Council is now giving an extra £53,000 to community partners who provide a range of vital services such as food banks, breakfast clubs and other support.
This is on top of £248,000 the Council had already given since the start of the pandemic in March.
This helps fund a range of charities and community groups to keep their much-needed services to residents running.
Telford & Wrekin Council has funded the following initiatives:
•Almost £85,000 to community groups across the borough who provide breakfast clubs and food to children who qualify for free school meals. This funding has been given 12 community partner organisations who since the summer are helping to run the scheme across the borough and which last month the Council extended to cover the Christmas period. These are listed at www.telford.gov.uk/breakfast
•£38,000 to support the borough’s five main food bank providers. A further £10,000 will be given in the next few days to support the Telford & Wrekin Interfaith Council as they extend their service, taking the total to over £48,000 since March given to food banks in the borough
•Separately the Council has given £83,000 to support seven key community venues to help them to continue to operate during the pandemic and serve as vital places for people to access local support services such as providing and delivering meals, support collecting shopping and medication, and a distribution point for food parcel collection.
•A further £35,000 has been allocated to two key charities working to tackle rough sleep in the borough – Maninplace and Stay
•It has also granted two community groups £3,500 for their help in making keep-in-touch calls to vulnerable residents.
The initial amount the Council gave these organisations to support them during the pandemic stood at £216,000. The Council is now increasing this by a further £43,000, reflecting extra pressures created by the second national lockdown.
On top of this the Council is now starting to receive extra funding from Government, for example £1 million to tackle rough sleeping, while it is expecting to receive extra funding to extend its free school meal support during school holidays into 2021.
Cllr Paul Watling, cabinet lead for communities, said: “Since the start of the pandemic, we have been very clear that the Council must work very closely with and financially support its partners to help protect and care for those most in need in the borough.
“Community organisations have had an absolutely crucial role in this and have helped us to reach many more of those who need our support.
“Whether this is providing children who qualify for free school meals with breakfasts and lunches during the holidays, running food banks for those who need help to feed their families, supporting charities who help tackle rough sleeping to venues at the heart of the community which offer a very wide range of support.
“It’s only right that we have given these organisations funding since the start of the pandemic and we’re now upping that as this new lockdown will mean more demand for their work.
“The Government have now realised the part such groups play and we hope that, through our work with these partners, we can ensure this additional funding continues to reach those who need it most.”
In addition to these grants the Council has during the pandemic also given £25,000 to seven local mental health support groups and almost £6,000 to support a local domestic abuse support line.