News release from 14/10/2020

Council’s £50,000 fund will support communities to move quickly to help during an outbreak

Council’s £50,000 fund will support communities to move quickly to help during an outbreak

South Cambridgeshire’s parish councils and community groups can now request additional grant funding from the District Council – to help them respond rapidly if there is a Coronavirus outbreak in their village.

The Council has set aside £50,000 to support communities. To make sure it can reach people in the greatest need quickly, upfront grants of between £100 to £400 are now being offered to parish councils and community groups that are at the forefront of their village’s response to Covid-19.

The amount available will vary according to the number of houses in the area covered. Designed to support the vital work carried out to help vulnerable people and those who need to self-isolate, it can be used to buy items such as sanitiser, print information leaflets, or provide emergency food or electricity top-ups until other support or self-isolation grants can be arranged.

Cllr Bill Handley standing outside Over Day Centre

Cllr Bill Handley (pictured - left), South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Community Resilience, Health and Wellbeing, said: “Our community groups have done an incredible job to make sure that the most vulnerable people in their communities have been supported. They have organised help with everything from shopping to collecting prescriptions, walking dogs and checking that people are OK.

“In response to feedback we have received from them, and using the experience we have gained in the past few months, we are adjusting our response to give more local and targeted help. This will make sure support reaches those most in need. And, of course, we will increase this support if cases rise or more help is needed in a certain village or community.”

The funding will be made available immediately with the freedom to be used effectively to support what is needed locally on the ground.

The grants can pay for:

  • Hand sanitiser and basic protective equipment
  • Printing of leaflets to help keep people informed about the work being done and help available
  • Paying for a few days’ shopping or topping up an electricity meter for people who need to suddenly self-isolate and are in financial hardship

The funds are intended to give initial aid for a few days only until other measures can be put in place, such as a claim for housing benefit, help with applying for Universal Credit, or an application to the Council’s own Hardship Fund.

The Council is writing to Parish Councils, community groups and lead volunteers inviting them to apply for the grants.