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Cash boost for community action on Covid 19, as Cornwall Council joins forces with Ocean Housing

Cornwall Council and Ocean Housing have joined forces to help communities recover from the pandemic by providing more Community Chest grant funding.   

Cornwall Councillors make Community Chest grants to support grassroots community action in their areas.  

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Now the Ocean Housing Hardship Fund will match their grants in four areas of Cornwall:

  • China Clay
  • Newquay & St Columb
  • St Austell & Mevagissey
  • St Blazey, Fowey and Lostwithiel

This is to help those most affected by the pandemic. 

The Council’s Community Chest Crisis Scheme gives grants of up to £1,000 to not-for-profit groups to help them provide Covid 19 support to residents in need. The programme operates across Cornwall's 19 Community Network areas, and groups can apply for grants from individual Cornwall councillors. 

Ocean Housing is now providing match funding to the Community Chest scheme in the Community Network areas in which it operates. This means community groups in those areas bidding successfully for Community Chest funding could see their cash injection go up thanks to the housing association’s contribution. 

Ocean Housing has contributed this funding from its Ocean Housing Hardship Fund. This fund is providing support to tenants affected by the crisis, including helping with bills, fuel costs, and supermarket shopping vouchers where food banks are unable to assist.  

The fund is not limited to Ocean Housing tenants, as it is also supporting local community groups, charities and other voluntary sector organisations which are serving local communities. Ocean Housing is distributing some of the funding directly via small grants, with the remaining going to key partners such as Foodbanks or being channelled through other organisations including Cornwall Community Foundation, Ocean Housing tenant groups and this Community Chest Scheme. 

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 prompt support to grass roots community action in their areas. We are keen to support projects helping affected residents and supporting community recovery and renewal, and groups whose funding may have been affected by the pandemic. I would like to thank Ocean Housing for their generous offer in helping support community action across these four network areas.” 


Frances Turner, Managing Director of Ocean Housing said: “At this time of crisis, we want to ensure help is available for people in our communities in order to stay safe, well and fed. The Government and other local organisations are providing a wide range of measures to prevent hardship.  Our fund is being awarded to people where their needs cannot easily, or immediately, be met by those organisations, and financial support is required. We are using the fund to provide direct support to our customers where this is needed.  We are also delighted to be working with partner organisations to help ensure the funding reaches communities in need, including through our contribution to the Council’s Community Chest scheme.”   

How it works 

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 then 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 which have been granted Community Chest funding in these network areas include:  

An emergency food voucher scheme run by St Stephen-in-Brannel Parish Council; A project providing clothes to families in need run by The Clothes Horse in Newquay; A grant to Mevagissey Parish Council to support the village’s community volunteer group; And a project to provide food parcels run by Fowey Isolation Service.