Community groups and charities are being urged to make ‘fast and effective use’ of a new Redcar and Cleveland Emergency Fund which launched this week.
Tees Valley Community Foundation (TVCF) - working in conjunction with Redcar and Cleveland’s Voluntary Development Agency, Sirius Minerals Foundation, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and EDF Renewables - have established the new fund.
The immediate purpose of the pot of cash – which now stands at £40,000 thanks to the generosity of all the organisations involved - is to support local groups based in Redcar and Cleveland to help alleviate the difficulties facing individuals and communities in the face of the current Covid-19 crisis.
The message from Mike Milen, CEO of Redcar and Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency is for those who are working on the ground to use this opportunity to feedback exactly what the most current problems are and what is needed to help, immediately.
“This fund is dedicated to the Redcar and Cleveland area and is for those people who can see a need, are doing really good work and need to do more or want to start helping,” said Mr Milen.
“We know people are suffering and our message is: ‘Come and have a conversation’. Tell us what isn’t working, what the daily problems are, the impact of them and the barriers you are experiencing in trying to help. We also want to know what is working so we can fund more of that,” he said.
“Mental health and the wellbeing of the community is under significant pressure -those who are struggling are finding support has been pulled away pretty much overnight. For example, the parents of a child with learning difficulties who relies on close, tactile support from their carer are finding they can’t even come into the home because of a lack of PPE,” he explained.
“It’s these services that are the foundation of stability and support to families, and to lose them causes significant stress and suffering. We want to push this money out to groups that can help so they can make fast and effective use of it to reduce stress, harm and suffering in the community.”
Groups are invited to apply for up to £1,000 to directly deliver activities that are needed by their local communities, whether that be food distribution, befriending support, disability care or mental health support.
The fund is only able to support activities that are focused upon the direct delivery of projects that meet an ‘immediate need' caused by the current Covid-19 crisis. It is not currently able to support groups with ongoing running costs whilst activities are suspended or facilities closed as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
Sarah Hodgson, who manages grant giving at TVCF, said: “The main aim of this fund is that it offers quick, simple and effective solutions - our team is highly experienced; we’re here to listen and evaluate the information these amazing community groups give us so we can help them to get the best results possible.”
Interested groups are asked to complete an application form online by clicking here.