Community groups doing invaluable work in the Coronavirus emergency have received funding from the Community Activity Fund – with 27 grants approved for projects ranging from food parcels to well-being support.
In May, the Council repurposed the existing Fund towards local groups or individuals going the extra mile to provide support within our communities, due to the pandemic. The change was intended to complement the Council’s own significant Community Resilience effort, and fully-reflect the Fund’s original aim to support the actions of local people having a wider community benefit.
The Fund will award £10,000 in total, with local groups invited to apply for a grant of up to £300 – or £500 in exceptional circumstances. Individual applications received by the Council are decided on a case-by-case basis.
As of Thursday, June 25, a total of 27 applications have been approved. Among the successful applicants are local projects from Cynon Valley Organic Adventures, Canolfan Pentre CIO and Rhydyfelin Community Group – whose worthwhile community-based projects are summarised below:
Cynon Valley Organic Adventures
Since the lockdown period started, the organisation has run a food bank delivering around 100 parcels each week to the most vulnerable people. The service is a lifeline to many at present, helping people access the food they need – including specific dietary needs and food for pets. The £260 awarded by the Fund will go towards FareShare membership, which provides a weekly food order to the organisation for distribution to those in need.
Canolfan Pentre CIO
The group has provided Mindfulness bags to older, more vulnerable people and children – operating from Blaenrhondda to Williamstown and also supporting groups in the Rhondda Fach area. This project is helping to ensure people are keeping their minds active, while also keeping them entertained and safe. More than 600 bags of items have been delivered to date, and the group is hopeful of supplying more – utilising the £300 grant received from the Community Activity Fund.
Rhydyfelin Community Group
The group’s aim is to improve local residents’ quality of life – especially the elderly and isolated. In the pandemic, members have undertaken a range of activities to help people – from shopping to dog walking, keeping in touch via phone and providing activity packs. The activity is aligned to the Rhydyfelin and Treforest COVID-19 Volunteer Support Group. The £300 received from the Fund will support Pamper Care Packages for the elderly and isolated – including magazines, toiletries, board games, chocolates and more.
Councillor Rhys Lewis, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Well-being and Cultural Services, said: “I’m pleased that the Council’s Community Activity Fund, which was re-directed in May in response to the Coronavirus national emergency, is now delivering funding support to a number of outstanding groups across the County Borough – who are working hard within local communities to provide help to the elderly and isolated.
“The Fund is an extension of the Council’s significant Resilience efforts to reach those most in need, having supported 13,700 vulnerable residents to date. Meanwhile, 6,300 care packages have been delivered by social care staff and 635 Community Meals are regularly delivered to vulnerable people. The Your Neighbours Need You campaign has also been re-launched to advise residents on how they can safely help one another at this time.
“We are extremely grateful to individuals and community groups right across the County Borough who are reaching out to help others – as we all face this unprecedented situation together. The Community Activity Fund has approved 27 grants to help these causes to date, and it is great to hear about the selfless work being undertaken by the successful applicants – making a big difference to vulnerable and isolated people’s well-being at this time.”
The Council has received a significant number of enquiries to the Community Activity Fund, and continues to identify additional successful applicants in order to help as many local projects as possible.
Posted on Thursday 2nd July 2020