Barclays cash will help community groups tackle pandemic fallout

Dorset Community Foundation has used funding from Barclays to support groups who are helping their communities cope with the fallout from the pandemic.

Barclays cash will help community groups tackle pandemic fallout

The bank awarded the community foundation more than £12,000 as part of a wider Community Aid Package to UK community foundations to support charities nationwide that are helping people and communities most impacted by Covid-19.

The community foundation’s own Dorset Coronavirus Community Appeal has already distributed £800,000 through more than 200 grants to groups across the county. The Barclays donation was used as part of its second phase of grants.

Counselling Together in Wimbourne was awarded £1,000 to help subsidise sessions for people who have been pulled into poverty by the virus. Service manager Katherine Strickland said the grant will be used in the Christchurch area.

“Our clients are presenting with higher anxiety and depression during this coronavirus outbreak,” she said. “There have been financial implications from Covid-19, some clients have stopped receiving counselling entirely as they can no longer afford it, there are others considering stopping counselling sessions due to threatened finances from the coronavirus. We anticipate that financial issues will continue to affect our clients, and now have a waiting list for those needing bursary support.”

Ferndown Community Coronavirus Support was given £1,500 towards mileage expenses for volunteers who are doing shopping, collecting prescriptions, walking pets and befriending more than 250 vulnerable and elderly people in the area. The grant will also be used to set up a community fridge for low income families.

Trustee Hannah Hobbs-Chell said the group and its volunteers intend to keep going beyond the pandemic. “If we can support and do the small things that keep people well and happy we can prevent some of the issues which could and do escalate from people not having support – such as more frequent doctors’ visits, social care needs, and mental health service involvement,” she said.

A £2,000 grant to It’s All About Culture in Boscombe will help the BAME group, which covers Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch, equip its popular Multicultural Hub in the Sovereign Centre with hot water in the kitchen and toilets and a new fridge.

Chairman Denise Wootten said: “ The hub will be a safe place to come and cook food and to be signposted for information or to get information. It will support vulnerable people from our Bame Communities to increase their independence and reduce the impact of Social isolation by being in around their peers, it will help members of black and minority ethnic communities to be in contact conversing with members of their own community, particularly the slightly older people.”

Team Dorset Athletics Network have been awarded £2,000 to hire venues for their disability groups in Poole and Dorchester to have socially-distanced training sessions when the second lockdown ends. The grant will also pay for protective and sports equipment and travel costs.

Covid restrictions mean the disability athletes, who have conditions including muscular dystrophy, and cerebral palsy, need separate training space. A spokesman for the group said: “During the pandemic we surveyed our athletes and the lack of physical activity had a negative impact on their mental health, by encouraging and facilitating a return to activity we hope to improve both their physical and mental health by motivating them in their return to activity.

“It is crucial to these athletes that they get back to physical activity so that they don’t deteriorate further.”

The Borough Harmony Centre in Bridport, which supports adults with mental health issues, was awarded £2,000 to provide more help for carers who, the group says, are often neglected

Trustee Alison Cliffe said: “Our services have received increasing calls from Carers, especially following the heightened national media coverage of the impact on mental health. Carers are often the forgotten people within mental health services, and we are keen to address this gap in services by providing a carers support group.”

The Nest Social Supermarket in has been awarded £2,000 to set up at the Waverley Community Hub in Weymouth. The supermarket will sell low-cost food to people in poverty, including those who have lost their jobs or are coming out of furlough, using food donated by supermarkets and producers.

Fundraiser Fiona Daborn said: “We want to create a long-term sustainable food pipeline meaning families don’t have to worry where the next meal is coming from and can engage in long term budgeting and planning.”

TRIP Community Transport in Honiton has been given £1,000 to continue its service in West Dorset ferrying elderly and vulnerable people to medical appointments in volunteers’ cars or in wheelchair-accessible transport.

Deputy manager Sharon Thorne said: the group has lost income because it has been unable to run its usual services. She added: “This grant funding will enable us to help maintain cover for the next three months. We know that people are anxious about attending medical appointments in general. If they needed to get a taxi or public transport we know this increases anxiety and stress.”

A similar scheme in Sturminster Newton, The Vale Pantry, will be funded by a £2,000 grant to the Vale Charitable Trust. It plans to set up a low-cost shop where low-income families can pay a nominal fee every week to choose a number of items donated by supermarkets via the Fare Share scheme.

Project manager Karen Rhys said people living in the village where there is little public transport have limited access to cheaper food. “It will help prevent individuals and families getting to crisis level as it gives them local access to low priced good quality food,” she said.

Neil Cradock, Barclays Wealth Manager, Dorset, said: “By reaching those most in need of support, local charities have played a vital role in this crisis to date, and no doubt they will do going forward. As a proud member of our community, we are doing everything we can for our customers, clients and colleagues, and we hope that our partnership with Dorset Community Foundation will allow many others to access the help they need as this crisis develops.”

Dorset Community foundation Chief Executive Grant Robson said: “We are very thankful to Barclays for its contribution, which will make a huge difference to all of these brilliant groups who are facing the challenges of the pandemic head on and really meeting the needs in their communities.”

Donate to the Dorset Coronavirus Community Fund here.