A Lancashire emergency fund supporting the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic has distributed more than £216,000 to charitable organisation on the frontline.
Fifty-nine community groups, charities and projects have received funding after applying to the Lancashire COVID-19 Community Support Fund, which is being managed by the Community Foundation for Lancashire in partnership with the Lancashire Resilience Forum (LRF) and the National Emergencies Trust (NET).
Preston North End Community and Education Trust received funding to provide ‘Helping Hamper’ packages to the vulnerable and socially isolated in Deepdale who would ordinarily rely on the Trust for social interaction.
Packs contain essential foods like bread, butter, eggs and milk plus puzzle books and chair-based exercise guides to keep beneficiaries stimulated and motivated.
Harriet Creighton-Levis, Assistant Head of Preston North End Community and Education Trust, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant, which will allow us to further support the most vulnerable people in Preston who are accessing our programmes.
“At this unprecedented time, we want to support those who have been affected by COVID-19.
“We know that some people are unable to leave their homes due to this crisis but we want to show the Preston community that they are not alone.
“We are here to support those who access our programmes, but also continue to take requests from vulnerable members of the community to provide additional support to them as well.”
Motiv8-lancs, another organisation delivering a frontline community service, also applied to the Lancashire COVID-19 Community Support Fund.
Motiv8-lancs would ordinarily deliver educational learning sessions for adults with learning or physical disabilities, for people with a mental health need or those socially isolated.
Managing Director Tracy Robinson said: “Our clients are facing many issues as they rely on familiarity and structure of their daily life.
“They cannot communicate and interact with their friends, they will find it hard to understand what is happening and why they cannot attend our centre, and they will not be able to process or think like we can.
“These are very uncertain times and they are not functioning very well at home.
“ They attend and rely on the service that we deliver as we provide a structure in their life.
“Now they are socially isolated and some of their family members are not coping very well because of their challenging behaviours and disabilities that they have.”
Following their application to the Fund – which was assessed, along with every other received, by an independent panel – they successfully secured a grant towards arts and crafts kits to be delivered to service users’ homes each week.
The grant’s purpose will be to enable beneficiaries have some structure in their own environment and improve mental and physical health and wellbeing.
More than £637,000 has already been pledged to the Fund, with £414,000 provided by NET and £220,000 from local authorities who form the LRF with partners including police, fire and health.