Coronavirus war chest: The 16 charities in Sunderland and South Tyneside to get funding boost from Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner
The ‘coronavirus response fund’ was launched last month as a redesign of the PCC’s annual community fund and brought forward £200,000 of funding to help local organisations continue vital work.
A total of 186 applications were received from a range of services all seeking new ways to continue supporting families and prevent crime during the Covid-19 crisis.
Many project ideas have been about looking after vulnerable and isolated people, particularly in the region’s rural communities, and victims of domestic abuse.
After being inundated with applications from across the region, PCC Kim McGuinness sourced an extra £100,000 in funding from reserves and underspend, bringing the total funding pot to more than £300,000.
Supporting young people also stood out as a great need, with £110,000 funding directed to youth projects and helping young people facing the impacts of poverty while schools are shut.
Northumbria PCC Kim McGuinness said: “As commissioner my role isn’t just about policing, it’s about ensuring support is there in our communities to help improve lives and prevent crime.
“It’s vital we come together at this time to overcome the challenges this virus has thrown our way.
“Although many community and voluntary groups have adapted their delivery amazingly well, and I’m very grateful of that, there’s no denying it’s a difficult time for them.
“Being able to help ease some of the financial pressure and help vital services to keep on doing what they’re doing or roll-out new innovative ideas – it’s what this fund is all about.
“We’ve also increased the funding as the response was so great – It’s not a huge amount but it all helps.”
A total of 83 groups are being directly supported with funds, some of which will be used to support further organisations.
Around 16 groups operating in Sunderland or South Tyneside have benefited, including Sunderland’s Youth Almighty Project.
“We are over the moon,” Project Manager Joanne Laverick, said.
“This money will help us equip disadvantaged young people with a range oftools and resources to ensure they stay safe, connected and look after themselves whilst in isolation.”
Another successful bid included the Young Women’s Outreach Project in Gateshead who are using funds to provide access to technology, alongside delivering “wellbeing packs.”
Project Manager, Julie Scott, said: “We are delighted to have been given this grant from Kim and know it will benefit many vulnerable young women who have experienced abuse and perhaps feel their voices and anxieties arenot being heard during the lockdown.
“Feedback from the support has already shown us how essential this service is, one young woman said she was about to self-harm but then a worker turned up with her care package and that alone stopped her from self-harming.”
Trinity Youth Association in Northumberland was also successful with their bid.
Youth Worker Debs Hickling-Walker, said: “Some LGBT young people in particular are incredibly isolated and when they lack the funds to maintain a phone they become at risk of exploitation very quickly.
“Being able to ensure that all of our young people can stay connected with us during this particularly stressful time could literally save a life.”
The coronavirus response fund initially prioritised applications for organisations supporting the most vulnerable, including those at risk of domestic abuse.
Grant applications of up to £5,000 were allowed with a second round of funding expected later in the year.
PCC Kim McGuinness added: “Whether successful or not, the fact we were inundated by so many great causes highlights the great community spirit we have throughout the force area with so many people wanting to make a difference, so thank you.”
A full list of successful applications will be made available on the PCC’s website: www.northumbria-pcc.gov.uk
Sunderland and South Tyneside organisations benefiting from the fund include:
:: AutismAble CIC
:: Talk 2 Us
:: South Tyneside Churches KEY Project
:: TEN North East
:: Impact Family Services
:: Women’s Health in South Tyneside
:: Wearside Women in Need
:: International Community Organisation of Sunderland
:: Young Asian Voices
:: Gateway North East
:: Dare North East CIC
:: Youth Almighty Project
:: Washington Mind
:: St Michael & All Angels Space4 Community Project
:: Pallion Action Group
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