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Projects in Charnwood awarded over £117,000 in Covid-19 grant funding

Published: Thu 15th October, 2020

  • Cllr Harper-Davies and Helen Carter from Loughborough Wellbeing Cafe stood outside The Emporium shop on Wards End

Community groups in Charnwood have been awarded over £117,000 in grant funding to help them recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Charnwood Borough Council launched its VCS Covid-19 Recovery grants in a bid to help voluntary organisations respond to community needs during the pandemic.

A total of 39 organisations have been awarded funding which will help with the additional cost of PPE and cleaning, reopening of buildings and restarting or adapting services to meet current government guidelines.

Loughborough Wellbeing Café was awarded £5,000 to help cover the costs of working in new ways to support people with mental health issues and isolation.

Helen Carter, chief operational officer at Loughborough Wellbeing Café said: “'Since lockdown started in March, we knew that we needed to continue and increase our mental health support for the community as the risk of isolation was no doubt going to impact on everyone's mental health and we needed to respond to that.

“We were able to immediately respond and adapt our face to face support to our Wellbeing Cafe Members using online resources, including Zoom and many of our cafe members have found this extremely helpful to maintain contact with others and to feel less isolated. Through our online sessions, we have delivered Yoga, Healthy Eating classes, Mindfulness, Arts and Crafts, Quizzes, Games and Nia Dancing to our groups and have been able to support people in a variety of ways.

“We have delivered a telephone and online befriending service to the community which has been well received and have also created and distributed over 250 arts and craft kits to vulnerable adults too.

“The grant funding we have received from Charnwood Borough Council will enable us to provide public protective equipment to enable us to begin to run small group activities from our shop and cafe, 'The Emporium' on Wards End and to be able to offer ongoing online sessions for our Wellbeing Cafe Members too. We are looking at ways all the time to develop our work and we are thrilled to have received this much needed funding to enable us to do that.”

New Life Community Church has received £4,500 to support the restart of its foodbank and debt advice service for local residents.

TwentyTwenty offers a range of support for young people in Loughborough and was awarded £5,000 towards the Love4Life project which has provided a range of free resources to help young people deal with increased isolation and anxiety throughout the pandemic.

A grant of £1,200 was awarded to Leslie Edwards Trust, a small charity which helps people with hearing difficulties. The funding will be used towards a programme of socially distanced and online lipreading classes.

Community facilities such as village halls, churches and community centres across the borough have also received funding through the scheme to help them reopen and restart offering services safely. Wymeswold Memorial Centre, Glenmore Centre in Shepshed, Walton Village Hall and Mountsorrel Methodist Church have all been awarded grants between £850-£4,500.

The new single fund was created by combining existing funding for Community Development and Engagement and Loughborough Community Grants.

Cllr Harper-Davies, the Council’s lead member for communities said: “We received a wide range of high-quality applications for the VCS Covid-19 grants and it is fantastic to be able to support so many different projects.

“We know funding can be difficult for these organisations and the voluntary sector was particularly impacted when many groups had to stop delivering services earlier this year due to the pandemic.

“These groups and projects deliver a variety of important services in our communities and I hope the funding they’ve been awarded can help them adapt their services to meet the needs of our residents once again.”

A full list of the successful grant applications and the amounts awarded can be found at www.charnwood.gov.uk/grants