Local councils are joining together to provide a new grant scheme to help fund the vital work of North Devon community and voluntary groups during the coronavirus outbreak.
North Devon Council is joining with Devon County Council in the new COVID-19 Prompt Action Fund providing grants of up to £500. Both councils are contributing 50% of the total of the grants awarded to each group with funding partly coming from contributions from each North Devon district councillor’s community councillor grant for the year.
The grants have been introduced to help tackle the social and economic impacts of the virus outbreak and help those who are most vulnerable in North Devon communities, they can be used towards activities including:
- safe delivery of essential goods and services to people who are isolating, including food and medicine
- supporting people to access online information and services
- starting virtual support groups to help people who are isolated to stay connected and to improve mental health and wellbeing
- transport related projects, including the use of voluntary car schemes to deliver essentials, medicine and meals
Applications are invited from established Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector groups, town and parish councils, charities or businesses, or a combination of these working together.
Groups, small local businesses and individuals without their own separate bank account may also apply, but they will need to have the support of a recognised organisation – such as town and parish council, local Community and Voluntary Services (CVS) organisation, village hall or other established local voluntary groups – acting on their behalf as guarantor or as the holder of the funding.
Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor David Worden, says: “I’m incredibly proud that North Devon Council has this opportunity to work alongside Devon County Council and help further support the vital work of our community and voluntary groups during this really challenging time. The work provided by these groups across the district is absolutely amazing and vitally important to helping our residents get through this difficult time. I am also extremely pleased that each district councillor, whatever their political background, has chosen to contribute financially to this scheme.”
Cabinet Member for Communities at Devon County Council, Councillor Roger Croad, says: “At extremely challenging times like this it is important that we all work together to support our residents, especially the most vulnerable.
“I’m particularly pleased that North Devon Council are joining the COVID – 19 Prompt Action Fund which has received in excess of 260 applications from organisations across the county already, after opening just over two weeks ago.
“This funding will help volunteer groups in Devon continue their vital work to tackle the impacts of the coronavirus in their communities and offer support to those in need.”
More information about the fund and how to apply can be found on the North Devon Council coronavirus support for groups and volunteers web pages.
Keep up to date with the latest coronavirus news, information and support available to residents, groups and businesses on the council websites and by signing up for e bulletins