Community and voluntary funding to battle Covid-19

Peter Bayne

Reporter:

Peter Bayne

Email:

peter.bayne@newrydemocrat.com

NEWRY, Mourne and Down District Council has received £98,250 from the Department for Communities for a COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to support the community and voluntary sector.

The key focus of the fund is to support projects which help individuals and families experiencing financial stress, or requiring help with food supplies or connectivity needs, because of the current pandemic. As well as support with essential supplies, it is hoped those feeling isolated can benefit from ongoing contact with someone outside of the home.

To ensure the fund is reaching the community and voluntary groups who need it most throughout the district, the Council is linking in with two of the Community Planning Strategic Stakeholder Forum representatives on the Council’s Covid-19 Community Coordination Hub, County Down Rural Community Network and the Confederation of Community Groups, to distribute the funding.

The Council would also like to acknowledge further funding of £113,258.64 from the Department for Communities. This funding will specifically support the continuation of the existing Welfare Reform advice provision, as well as tribunal representation, all undertaken by Community Advice Newry, Mourne and Down, the other Community Planning Strategic Stakeholder Forum representative on the Council’s Covid-19 Community Coordination Hub. This will ensure that the most vulnerable in our communities continue to access ongoing support and assistance in these challenging times.

In addition to this funding, the Council also recently allocated £35,000 to assist foodbanks in meeting the needs of the local community. Of this, £15,000 has been provided by Newry, Mourne and Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Charlie Casey said, “We understand that there are many and varying needs within our community during these unprecedented times. Through the funding available from the Department for Communities we are working with the community to ensure we reach out to those who are in most need.

“We are thankful to all the community organisations and individuals who are working tirelessly during this pandemic. Together we will keep our communities safe.”

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