Council lends support to more Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise groups

Published: 7 September 2020

Person wearing PPE

Derby City Council is delighted to have approved funding of an additional £20,000 to Community Action Derby to extend the successful COVID-19 Emergency Small Grants Scheme.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the Council made available an initial £20,000 for Emergency Grant Funding to support Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) groups and charities that had been adversely affected financially by the crisis in Derby.  The fund was transferred to Community Action Derby who assessed and administered applications.

Grants of up to £250 were available to groups based in the city of Derby, to help them to deal with additional costs caused by the crisis, or to help to pay bills where income had fallen and there were no other sources of government or charitable support. Over 60 grants worth over £15,000 were administered up to the end of June 2020 alone.

Amongst many others, the grants enabled CAMTad to purchase a new phone to help them support people with hearing loss and Community Sound Radio to train their volunteer presenters about what support was an offer for listeners. They allowed Little Chester Allotments to grow more food to distribute to those in need and Roma Community Centre to support more people in the Eastern European Roma community with mental and physical health issues through lockdown.

Community Action Derby have played a vital role in the community response, being a central component of the Community Hub and leading the support and infrastructure to the VCSE sector, including the Emergency Food Response.  The additional £20,000 will enable this critical area of support to the sector to continue in the short/medium term.

Working in partnership with Community Action Derby has proven to be an effective and efficient way to reach a significant number local VCSE groups  in very tight timescales and has provided both the opportunity for attracting further grants/resources into Community Action and the wider VCSE sector and obtaining greater value for money through more efficient VCSE delivery models.

As the lockdown eases, there has been an increase in demand for support. Many small groups who were not able to operate at all during lockdown are starting to re-open, and are facing the additional costs of the ‘new normal’, with the continued need for social distancing, PPE, and many groups supporting the most vulnerable who will continue to be shielded for some time.

The additional release of funds to Community Action Derby to service Emergency Small Grants will enable a continued COVID-19 VCSE response in the lead up to Winter period.

Councillor Nicola Roulstone, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement and lead on Derby’s COVID response said:

I’m delighted we are able to continue to support the city’s Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise groups in this way. This year has proved exceptionally hard for so many in this area and I’d like to thank them for all they do to support the most vulnerable people in the city. Our relationship with Community Action Derby was strong before the start of the pandemic but it is now becoming a fundamental part of how we will operate in the future. I’m delighted that we will continue to work so closely together on this and in our ongoing work in community.

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