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Support fund aids recovery

by Cathy Sheel

Community groups and organisations across Knowsley have been awarded more than half a million pounds from a Knowsley Council fund created to help the borough recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The council’s Covid 19 Support Fund was launched to help community groups and organisations support the health and wellbeing of residents as they emerge from the pandemic.

More than 40 organisations from the voluntary, community and faith sectors, charities, companies, churches, PTAs and parish/town councils based in Knowsley have been awarded grants totalling £587,00 by Knowsley Council, via the Knowsley Foundation – a collaboration between the council, Knowsley Chamber of Commerce, One Knowsley and the Community Foundation for Merseyside.

Organisations were invited to apply for funding from two funding pots: Programme 1 – offering awards for revenue projects up to £50,000, or Programme 2 funding projects up to £10,000, enabling smaller groups to expand their operations.

Among the successful applicants were:

Listening Ear, Halewood: £47,518 A mental health charity offering professional care and making a practical difference to people affected by bereavement, domestic abuse, caring responsibilities, family separation, being a Looked After Child, trauma, and neglect. The funding will enable the expansion of the workforce in order to support young people who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Huyton Initiative 4 Youth Activities (HIYA): £35,660 to provide activities and support for children/young people aged 0 -19 across the Huyton area. This funding will pay for additional staff to support young people and their families who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

People, Activities, Community Achievement: £22,750 to provide health and fitness activities to children from Knowsley and their families. The funding will enable volunteers to support young people who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 by funding a professional trainer, refreshments, etc.

Whiston Gardening Club: £1,130 will enable the club to use gardening as a way to improve the mental health and wellbeing of those who have been impacted by COVID-19.

Funding was also provided for groups involved in building community resilience through the prevention and control of outbreaks, supporting them to forge new collaborations, gather intelligence, improve online access and support for residents, and increase community empowerment.

Knowsley’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care Cllr Louise Harbour said: “We know how incredibly important our community groups and organisations were in supporting residents throughout the pandemic. This funding will provide a catalyst for them to build on that support and enable our communities to thrive.”

Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods Cllr Shelley Powell said: “We were overwhelmed by the response to the fund. All of the applications demonstrated what fantastic projects we have across the borough who are all supporting the health and wellbeing of communities and helping them overcome the challenges brought by the pandemic in a creative and meaningful way.”

Cllr Christine Bannon, Cabinet Member for Health added: “It’s important we don’t underestimate the impact the last 18 months have had on our physical and mental health. This funding is providing vital support to groups and organisations who are making a real difference in our communities.”