Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness sets up £200,000 coronavirus war chest to help charities

A police boss has launched an urgent community fund to support charities and local groups grappling with the pressures of coronavirus.

By Chris Binding
Monday, 30th March 2020, 4:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 12:46 pm

Across the region, organisations are facing an unprecedented challenge in supporting families and helping to prevent crime during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Kim McGuinness has launched a ‘coronavirus response fund’.

This aims to sustain the delivery of crucial community projects that have been impacted by the current global health crisis.

Kim McGuinness

Around £200,000 is available for organisations, with the PCC office taking applications of grants of up to £5,000.

The fund will initially prioritise applications for organisations supporting the most vulnerable, including those at risk of domestic abuse.

It will also look at ways to support young people at risk of abuse, neglect or the impacts of poverty due to school closures.

She said: “Over the past few days I’ve been in touch with many organisations that we work with and it’s been absolutely clear that they need more support, and fast.

“These organisations are all playing an important part in the region’s response to the current crisis in some way.”

She added: “This virus, sadly, is going to have lasting implications for many charities.

“Across our region, as in the rest of the country, our economy is taking a hit and that’s impacting on things such as counselling and youth intervention services.

“I’d like to get some financial help out there as soon as possible, ideally to projects and services that are already set up in order to help make a difference at speed.

“But we have to be realistic; the fund I am announcing today is only a drop in the ocean compared to what our multi-million pound charity and voluntary sector need.

“That’s why I am urging the Chancellor to set out urgent further help for these organisations.

“We do not want to recover from this outbreak only to see the quiet support network that keeps us safe has disappeared.”

The closing date for applications is April 9 and the PCC will open a second round of funding later in the year.

Further details about the fund and how to apply are available on the Northumbria PCC’s website.