Wigan Borough community groups have benefitted from a cash boost of more than £18,000 thanks to a regional fund earmarked for COVID-19 response efforts. So far, 10 groups have been supported by the fund, distributed by charity Forever Manchester.
Wigan Council is now urging all of the borough’s community groups to explore national and regional funding opportunities.
Coun Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities and culture, said: “We have a cohort of fantastic and committed community groups in Wigan Borough. I’d like to thank them all for the amazing work they are doing during this time. Without their dedication and positive attitude, it would be much harder for us to deliver effective and vital support to residents and households which need it most.
“We have set up seven hubs across the borough to target support in the heart of communities, building on our framework set up through The Deal. This is an approach we are managing with the voluntary sector and although we’re committed to continuing this partnership, resources are stretched, so it’s important our groups harness these funding opportunities so their efforts can be maximised and even more people can benefit.”
Forever Manchester is working in partnership with UK Community Foundations, distributing money raised through the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal, with allocations of up to £5,000 available.
From Sport England to Crowdfunder, National Lottery to Curious Minds, a mixture of the nation’s large-scale and specialist organisations have allocated pots of money that groups can bid for in order to support the local effort.
Ince-based community organisation, Driven, has already been awarded £4,750. As well as covering some overheads while the organisation is unable to operate as normal, the money will help them assist the Hindley community hub by supporting volunteers delivering food parcels.
Ian Tomlinson from Driven said: “Before Covid-19, our organisation was proactive in the community by providing transport for residents who couldn’t get around easily. Our operations have now changed and we are using our vehicles to deliver vital food parcels to residents who need help due to self-isolation. We’re working really closely with Crisp CIC and Thrive CIC to do this, who are helping manage the delivery of food parcels from the Hindley hub.
“We are also receiving referrals from the council’s welfare helpline, meaning we can support vulnerable people to attend medical appointments, or even pick up their click and collect food orders – all while following government guidance.”
For more information on what funding opportunities are available to community
groups, visit www.wigan.gov.uk/coronavirus and scroll down to ‘further information’.
If you need welfare support or would like to enquire about the food parcels, please call 01942 489 018 or fill in our online form at www.wigan.gov.uk/bekind.