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Funding boost for groups helping Covid hit communities

Community groups in Birmingham and Telford that are working to help those hit hardest by the impacts of Covid have been given a funding boost by a housing trust. 

Bournville Village Trust has awarded grants totalling £17,500 to 15 grass-roots groups as part of a commitment to support communities through the pandemic.  

Many of the organisations to receive grants are run by volunteers and rely heavily on donations and fundraising to provide frontline services that offer a lifeline to many.

The groups help those struggling to afford food, people with mental ill health, isolated older people, young people and families, people in debt or who need welfare advice and those recovering from drug-abuse issues.

Those to have benefitted from funding in Birmingham include Eco-Birmingham, Free@Last, Just Caring, the Life House Project, Masefield Community Garden, NCP Future Proof Project, Riverside Performing Arts, Small World at St David’s Church, Smartlyte, St Francis Community Centre and The Project in Longbridge.

Groups to have received grants in Telford are Recharge (Telford), Telford Crisis Support, Christmas Smile Telford and Challenging Perceptions in Telford.

Cheryl Garvey, Head of Community Development at Bournville Village Trust, said: “There has never been a time when supporting locally based organisations has been more important and it’s been brilliant to be able to do something practical to help both organisations and the communities they serve.”

Kathryn Groombridge, from Small World – the group working from St David’s Church in Shenley – said: “The grant money has helped us enormously. We are currently delivering a large bag of groceries each week to 18 families and a care bag, with a treat, teabags and a prayer, to about 20 older isolated people each fortnight.

“The families have said that it is making an enormous difference, as many have either lost their jobs or are working fewer hours. The older members of our congregation are thrilled to have a little reminder that we are thinking of them. BVT’s generosity means that we have had the means to continue this much needed help into the third lockdown.”

Rebecca Blount, from Recharge Telford, said: “One of the things we said we would buy with the grant is Christmas gifts for all the young people who attend Recharge for support.

“We cannot thank Bournville Village Trust enough as this is a difficult time for youngsters and it is so nice to give them a gift. We will also be using the grant funding to action other projects this year.”

Bournville Village Trust, which works in central and South Birmingham and Telford, also launched a campaign in December to help its residents keep well during the winter.

Called Well Winter, the campaign provides support to those who are struggling to afford enough food, to stay warm or afford essential household items.

Since it was launched, it has provided over 150 people with support ranging from food and fuel vouchers to one off items such as essential white goods.

Bournville Village Trust, founded in 1900, is a community-based housing association and registered charity. Its mission is to create and sustain communities where people can thrive.

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