Helping local community and voluntary groups support our vulnerable residents

Published on 17th April 2020

Support

A new ‘Cheltenham community resilience fund’ has been set up this year to support local voluntary sector agencies and community groups that are helping vulnerable people during the COVID-19 crisis.

The scheme, which brings together £30k funding from Cheltenham Borough Council and £50k from Gloucestershire County Council is to help cover additional costs these groups may incur because of increased activity or functions they have insufficient resources to meet.

Cllr Steve Jordan, leader of the council, said: “The council is pleased to be able to offer support to community based groups who are stepping up to tackle the COVID-19 crisis head on. These groups, which are active across the town, are critical to ensuring our communities remain resilient and supported in these unprecedented times.” 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “The county council understands how important community and voluntary groups are to local residents during the coronavirus outbreak, so we are pleased to offer help. These payments will enable them to continue providing vital services to ensure those most vulnerable are able to access the support they need.’’

In the last two weeks over £10k has been granted to support local efforts including:

£4,951 to Caring for Communities and People (CCP) to support the unprecedented demand that their emergency FoodShare is currently experiencing. Grant money will be used to safely coordinate the sourcing of food, packing and delivering items to those who need them most.

£300 to The Reddings Resident’s Association to support the work of the residents association in providing a volunteer support group to their local community.

£1,198 for St Michael’s Cornerstone Trust to support the purchase of laptops to allow centre managers to work remotely and therefore continue to support the community response which includes online support with mental health / wellbeing projects and food parcel coordination.

Liz Thatcher, events manager for CCP said: “We are so grateful for this extra funding and all other support we have had for our Emergency Food Share appeal. New referrals continue to come in each week and we could not provide for them without the support of our local community.”

Cheltenham Borough Council aims to make decisions about funding within a few days. In this way the council hopes to get much needed small grants out to community groups.

Application guidelines and forms can be downloaded online: www.cheltenham.gov.uk/communitypride

For more information, please contact the council’s community services team by email communityservices@cheltenham.gov.uk.


 

For media enquiries, contact: communications, telephone 01242 264154, email communications@cheltenham.gov.uk

Notes:
The community resilience funding can only be used for expenditure in relation to the Covid-19 Crisis including but not exclusively:

  • Setting up of ‘community floats’ to purchase food and essential supplies for vulnerable people and families
  • Development of  digital/virtual support – equipment such as mobile phones or tablets
  • Expenses incurred by volunteers such as petrol
  • Developing infrastructure to support vulnerable people


Those that can apply include: community or voluntary groups, registered charities, community interest companies, and town and parish councils.

There is no upper limit for grant applications, although any bid over £2,000 will need to be discussed with council officers before submission and will be scrutinised for value for money. 

The fund cannot be used to:

  • Support the mainstream activities of an organisation e.g. ongoing yearly spending commitments including salaries and administration costs.
  • To create an ongoing funding commitment from the county council or borough council
  • Any events or activities of a political nature
  • Projects being delivered outside the boundaries of Cheltenham borough
  • Projects that cannot demonstrate that the necessary permissions will be achieved within the appropriate timescales.