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Vital community projects awarded coronavirus support fund

Published June 24, 2020 11.26am


Key community groups across a County Durham town have received funding to help them continue supporting people in their local area during the coronavirus outbreak.

Stanley Medical Group PPE

Stanley Medical Group Staff wearing the face visors created by SHAID

We have dedicated a £1.4 million coronavirus support fund, which is being shared amongst Area Action Partnerships (AAPs) across the county, to ensure local projects can continue to help those in need during the outbreak.

Stanley AAP has used its share of funding to award to organisations in the area who are supporting those isolated and vulnerable during the coronavirus outbreak.

PACT House was awarded a grant from Stanley AAP to support the delivery of its Fresh Foodbank, a scheme that receives produce from local supermarkets and food distribution charity FareShare, to ensure those in need can access free food parcels and hygiene essentials.

PACT House's 'ImPACT on COVID-19' project is averaging between 25 and 30 contacts to the service every day, six days a week. The donated produce is also used to prepare free cooked meals that are then frozen and delivered to people in need.

The organisation has also worked alongside the Durham Christian Partnership to co-locate its food bank alongside the food bank in Stanley Civic Hall, as several of the partnership's volunteers are shielding following government guidance. 

Find more information about AAPs and their support services.

Annfield Plain Community Centre

Funding was also awarded to Annfield Plain Community Centre, which is spearheading the Catchgate and Annfield Plain Isolation Support service that supports vulnerable and elderly residents.

The centre and its committee have set up volunteer networks in each of their villages to support residents by collecting and delivering shopping, picking up prescriptions, delivering food and care packages, and overseeing a telephone befriending service whilst still managing the delivery of their food bank. 

The centre received a grant from Stanley AAP to expand and support its local volunteers, purchase cleaning materials for its premises, and enhance the capacity of its telephone befriending service. 

Funding from Stanley AAP has not only supported food initiatives during the coronavirus pandemic. Just for Women was awarded a grant to deliver its project, Crafting Against Covid-19, which supports vulnerable families and elderly people through crafting packs delivered safely to their homes to promote positive wellbeing and keep people engaged.

Single Homeless Action Initiative 

Single Homeless Action Initiative in Durham (SHAID) approached Stanley AAP for funding support as it identified a need to keep key workers safe and get them the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) they require. SHAID received funding to purchase a 3D printer and materials to produce 700 face visor masks for frontline workers of local organisations and single carers across the Stanley area. 

The KO3D printing for Covid-19 project has enabled the quick delivery and distribution of face visors to frontline staff across the Stanley AAP area, including care homes, pharmacy staff, schools and front-line charity workers and single carers, enabling them to stay safe and to be able to continue to offer the vital services they are delivering in the community during the pandemic.

SHAID also received funding support from the AAP for SHAID House, a sheltered support accommodation for young people aged 16 to 24 that comprises of seven studio apartments with a staff team covering the site 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  

As a consequence of the pandemic, referrals into SHAID's properties have ceased, resulting in five voids and a loss in revenue. The grant from the AAP will help cover the lease charges for the property, as well as heating, lighting and water bills, ensuring its survival and enabling SHAID House to go on and support many more young people going forward.

Supporting important projects

Cllr Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: "These organisations are just some of the many vital groups and projects across County Durham that have been awarded grants from our AAP coronavirus support fund. This money is being used to ensure these projects can continue to provide their valuable services to those who are vulnerable or in need of support during the coronavirus outbreak.

"There are a great number of voluntary and community organisations in Stanley that do fantastic work in supporting those in their local area, so it is great to see that the money from the support fund is being used to support so many important projects."

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