Tewkesbury Borough Council is urging voluntary and community groups to apply for funding from its Covid-19 Emergency Community Fund if they have had to respond to exceptional challenges during the Covid-19 lockdown.

So far, over 60 grants totalling nearly £60,000 have been paid to organisations supporting communities in Tewkesbury Borough including charities, neighbourhood projects, parish councils, sports clubs, and voluntary groups.

The grant programme has helped to support a diverse range of projects such as community food schemes, art projects to improve mental health, community radio, social groups, and projects keeping vulnerable people connected.  Grant applications have been received from established organisations as well as new volunteer-led groups emerging as a result of the pandemic.

Charitable organisations across Tewkesbury Borough (and voluntary and community groups with charitable aims) can apply for a grant of up to £1,000 to deliver projects or services that meet the Tewkesbury Borough Covid-19 Emergency Community Fund criteria.

The fund remains open and officers are focussed on ensuring that voluntary and community groups have the essential funding they need to continue to support the health and wellbeing of their communities during this challenging time. Groups may be looking for funding to support the following areas:

  • Reducing social isolation – supporting people who are feeling particularly isolated or lonely as a result of social distancing.
  • Improving mental health– supporting individuals affected by Covid-19 and helping vulnerable people to feel more confident in a changing world.
  • Celebrating volunteers – ideas to retain volunteers and show appreciation for their commitment during the lockdown.
  • Ensuring financial sustainability – costs associated with establishing new community groups which have grown out of specific needs during the pandemic.
  • Strengthening communications – ensuring groups have access to the internet, social media, IT equipment, training for volunteers and staff.

Grants can also support with costs relating to reopening community facilities such as additional cleaning, cleaning equipment, PPE, signage and hygiene products.

Organisations can apply up to three times for a Covid-19 Emergency Community Grant. Applications from organisations and groups based outside of Tewkesbury Borough are welcomed if they can demonstrate how they are supporting people and communities living in the borough.

Lead member for communities, Councillor Clare Softley, said: “We are so pleased that this grant scheme has funded some amazing work in the borough, supporting vulnerable groups at an incredibly challenging time in our lives. We know that this work is far from over and encourage voluntary and community sector organisations to get in touch and apply for some financial support.”

Debra from the BeSocial Club for older people in Winchcombe received a grant to help fund cleaning equipment and hygiene products. She said: “Thank you so much for your grant! We are absolutely thrilled that Tewkesbury Borough Council has chosen to support us. The grant will enable us to open our doors with peace of mind that the centre is as clean and safe as we can possibly make it.”

For more information about the Covid-19 Emergency Community Grant criteria and how to apply, visit https://www.tewkesbury.gov.uk/forms/emergency-grant-for-charitable-organisations-and-community-groups

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