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Extra funding for volunteers supporting communities during Coronavirus crisis

Some volunteer groups receiving funding through the Community Chest Crisis Scheme can now receive an additional cash boost as Cornwall Council and Coastline Housing join forces to support community action during the pandemic.

The Council’s Community Chest Crisis Scheme gives grants of up to £1,000 to smaller voluntary groups which are not yet formally constituted to help them provide immediate COVID-19 support to residents in need.

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The programme operates across Cornwall's 19 Community Network areas, and groups can apply for grants from individual Cornwall councillors.

Now Coastline Housing is match funding the Community Chest scheme in the three, main community network areas in which it operates: Camborne, Pool, Illogan and Redruth; Helston and South Kerrier; and parts of Falmouth and Penryn

It means community groups in those areas bidding successfully for Community Chest funding would see their cash injection go up by half thanks to the housing association’s contribution.

Cornwall Council and Coastline Housing would like to see more Community Chest-supported schemes running in these areas and are encouraging voluntary groups to come forward and apply for the cash boost to make a lasting impact in their communities.

Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall’s portfolio holder for climate change and neighbourhoods, said: “We have speeded up our Community Chest allocation processes so that councillors across Cornwall can provide support to grassroots community action in their areas and we are especially focusing on groups that are not yet formally constituted as they may not be able to get support via other funds. We’re also supporting groups that are fully constituted but whose funding may have been affected because of the pandemic.

“If you’re in a group that is trying to help vulnerable members of your community during the Coronavirus crisis, this extra funding could be a great opportunity for you and your fellow volunteers to get your work off the ground or perhaps expand the valuable work you are doing already.

“We want to thank Coastline Housing for their generous offer in helping support community action during this pandemic.”

Allister Young, CEO of Coastline Housing, said: “We are delighted to be giving a big boost to this initiative as we know that it will have many positive impacts on a very practical level, helping communities where they need it most during these unprecedented times.

“We look forward to seeing the creative and innovative projects that will no doubt stem from this scheme to help people locally at this time. 

“As a housing charity working across Cornwall we have also been supporting Cornwall Community Foundation’s Emergency Fund, and we are providing direct support to our customers where this is needed.”

To apply for the Community Chest Crisis Scheme, email brief details of your group and the work you’re doing to your Community Link Officer, their contact details can be found here on the Community Network map.

The Community Link Officer will contact the relevant Cornwall Councillors in your Community Network area on your behalf to see if they are willing to support your project in principle. They will also check if they have sufficient funds in their Community Chest to do so.

Examples of schemes across Cornwall which have been granted Community Chest funding include Carharrack and St Day Covid-19 community support team; Mevagissey Parish Council which are using the funding to support the village’s community support group; St Minver Community Group who are delivering food to vulnerable and self-isolating residents and a foodbank run by Souls Harbour Pentecostal Church in Camelford.

Voluntary community and social enterprise groups that are formally constituted should first apply to access Cornwall Community Foundation’s Emergency Fund. Cornwall Council has contributed £100,000 to the fund.  The Cornwall Community Foundation fund offers small grants of £500 - £5,000 to charities and constituted organisations in Cornwall.


Story posted on April 30, 2020