Covid-19 update: Community Briefing

48

Message to community groups from the Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux

Over a number of years, through The Deal we have built on the sense of pride and community we feel for our borough.
 
We didn’t envisage that this sense of community spirit would be in demand in a scenario like the one we now find ourselves in.
 
During the last few weeks, we have faced a fast-developing situation in our response to Covid-19. A situation that we expect to continue into the near future.
 
As you know, The Deal was launched so we could provide communities with the tools and resources to be self-sustainable and to help deliver services in partnership with the council.
 
The Deal laid a substantial foundation for the uncertain times we are currently facing together and we are confident that with your help, we can support those who may need it most.
Community hubs and volunteering
We now have seven community hubs operational across the borough and we’d like to thank the community groups who have expressed an interest in being involved in this initiative.

The hubs will be a central point in local areas, which will help to coordinate access to food parcels, welfare support and other essential services for vulnerable residents.

In order to ensure everybody who needs support receives it, we ask community groups support our arrangements by promoting our web form and phone number (01942 489 018) so residents can refer themselves or someone they know for additional support from the hubs. 

We are also looking for fit and healthy people to volunteer alongside the hubs and our community groups.

Tasks will include packing food parcels, offering phone calls with isolated individuals or even collecting and delivering medication where appropriate.

Register your interest by filling out the volunteer form, which can be found at www.wigan.gov.uk/bekind

This will ensure that the local authority can keep track of the demand for support and that everybody who needs help can access it.

By the council and community groups working together in this way, we can all deliver the very best help and assistance.
#BeKind, Stay at Home campaign

Last weekend, we launched our #BeKind, Stay at Home campaign encouraging people to share pictures and videos of themselves at home, staying safe and saving lives.

A number of local celebrities have already backed the campaign, including Hacker T Dog, Emmerson Boyce, Mickey Higham, The Lottery Winners and more. Young people have also designed posters for the campaign.

The announcement from the chief medical officer, suggesting that the country may need to practice social distancing measures for the next 3-6 months, demonstrates why the campaign has such importance. 

We are encouraging all of our community groups to share our #BeKind messaging on their social media channels.

We also ask you to share your photos and videos with us by tagging us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @WiganCouncil
Forever Manchester 

You may be aware that Forever Manchester is working with UK Community Foundations to distribute funding raised by the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal.
 
Funding of up to £1,000 will be given to community organisations in Greater Manchester who are responding to the needs of their area.
                                   
Locally, One House, a community organisation based in Aspull, has recently received £1,000 from the fund to help them pull together food parcels including donations from residents, create a phone-buddy system and identify community champions, which will aid the council’s work in supporting those affected by Covid-19.
 
Wigan Borough has hundreds of fantastic, innovative and passionate community groups. All of you are working really hard to ensure our communities continue to thrive, so we urge you to apply to the fund so your efforts can be maximised.
 
For applications and eligibility enquiries, please email [email protected].

For more information, please visit the Forever Manchester website.
Community Emergency Fund

Further funding is also available from Sport England to help community sport and physical activity organisations who are experiencing short-term financial hardship, or the ceasing of operations due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The types of organisations eligible include local sports clubs forced to close at short notice but who are facing ongoing costs around maintenance and utility bills, and voluntary and community sector organisations who deliver or enable sport and physical activity.

Grants between £300 and £10,000 are available.

Find more information here.
Regards, 
Councillor David Molyneux, leader of Wigan Council.