Sixty community groups helping families in need, isolated pensioners and other vulnerable people during the Covid-19 crisis will share £100,000 of council funding.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council invited voluntary organisations in the Potteries to bid for funding to help them support residents and communities affected by the coronavirus and lockdown.
The scheme was oversubscribed with more than 90 groups in the city asking for support. The successful applicants will receive grants ranging from £100 to £10,000.
Twelve applicants will share an additional £15,985 in match funding from the Community Foundation for Staffordshire (CFS), while more cash could come from city councillors’ ward budgets.
Council leaders hope the funding will help the groups ease pressure on public services in the city, which are struggling with increased demand and constrained budgets.
The Hubb Foundation in Burslem, which provides support to disadvantaged children and their families, successfully bid for £10,000 from the scheme.
Port Vale owner Carol Shanahan, who set up the foundation, said: “We are thrilled with the news that we have been awarded this funding from the city council.
“Over the last seven weeks, the Hubb Foundation has delivered over 40,000 meals to families across Stoke-on-Trent.
“While we know we are making a huge difference to people in the city, this additional funding will help us to go even further with the cost of food supplies, supporting our fantastic volunteers and additional catering to supplement the contributions already being made by JCB and Totally Delicious to support those in need as a result of the pandemic. Our thanks go to the city council.”
Saltbox, a charity which has been working to improve the prospects of marginalised communities and vulnerable people in Stoke-on-Trent since 1983, was also successful in its bid for funding. It will receive £2,995 from the scheme.
Chief executive Lloyd Cooke said: “Saltbox works to tackle problems linked to disadvantage, deprivation and poverty with a focus on supporting local people by actively delivering activities at a grass roots level.
“It is great news that our bid has been successful. The funding will help us to support homeless men and women, through our Restart programme, who have been adversely affected through Covid-19.
“It will also allow us to help, through our Carelink befriending service, a number of over 60s in the city who have no other networks to turn to during these challenging times.”
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The Ruff & Ruby youth charity received £2,500 through the fund.
Dawn Reynolds from the charity said: “We are supporting young people in poverty across the city who are struggling with isolation and mental health issues, such as anxiety, low mood and depression.
“Many of these young people are vulnerable, marginalised and are in homes that may be ‘fractured’– they have told us that they’re really struggling with the lock-down.
“The funding will go some way to helping us being able to continue to offer our ‘You Matter TLC Tubz for Teenagers’ programme which contains both essential care items and health and wellbeing tools, such as a vision board and self-care sheets, alongside our text response and over the phone support service.
“We are also helping families with much needed essential items – like the case of a single dad in the city with a teenage daughter who didn’t have a fridge freezer – and delivering ‘comfort items’ to families with teenagers who have lost parents to Covid-19.
“It can be the smallest things that make such a difference. This funding helps to provide more of that essential support throughout the pandemic and beyond.”
Fourteen groups received the full amount of funding requested, while another 32 have been given partial grants. Twelve awards are being jointly funded by the council and CFS, and two organisations have been offered loans totalling £10,000.
Councillor Randy Conteh, cabinet member for housing, communities and safer city, said: “From smaller scale operations to larger scale organisations like the Hubb Foundation who are helping huge numbers of families across the city, the difference they make is amazing.
“The bids were really diverse and look to help the old, the young, the homeless, those who are lonely, families in need of support – the list goes on.
“We’ve tried to ensure a good spread of funding city-wide that can really help those who need it the most.”
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