Ealing Council has awarded more than £200,000 in fixed grants to local charities and groups since late March as part of its work to support the community response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The council is still welcoming applications and groups are invited to get in touch with their proposals.
The money is part of the £300,000 committed as part of the council’s overall £1.5 million emergency fund, announced on Wednesday 24 March, the day after the UK lockdown was announced by the prime minister. The fund is designed to support Ealing organisations and residents experiencing hardship and additional pressures due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
The voluntary and community group portion of the fund offers fixed grants of varying sizes to organisations that are supporting the elderly, young or otherwise vulnerable. The money may be used to deliver additional services or to maintain existing services in cases where they are experiencing immediate financial pressures.
Local groups are helping people with food
In total, 30 organisations have benefited so far. Five of these have been awarded grants to support their work in delivering food to vulnerable residents: GoodGym, BEfriend, Young Ealing Foundation, The Gurnell Grove Community Trust and CAME Women and Girls Development Organisation. They are benefiting from a £60,000 donation to the fund gifted by the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) specifically to support groups who are helping local people experiencing food insecurity.
Many of the organisations that have benefited from the fund so far are also part of the borough’s Ealing Together coalition. Ealing Together has seen local charities, community groups, businesses, mutual aid groups and the council come together to support the most vulnerable during the crisis.
Councillor Peter Mason, cabinet lead for Ealing Together, said: “Ealing Together set out at the start of this pandemic to ensure we got support to the most vulnerable people in our communities quickly. The best way to achieve this is to support the incredible number of organisations, charities and volunteers operating at a hyper local level, right across neighbourhoods in our borough.
“Alongside the ongoing work to help support the community response, this financial support ensures that those who want and can do more during this crisis are able to do so quickly. If you’re able to step up and help your community, we will find ways to support you, so please be in touch”
We are here to help
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for finance and leisure, said: “Alongside supporting businesses at this time, we knew that community and voluntary sector groups would need financial support to ensure they could provide vital services that make such a huge difference, especially during these unprecedented times.
“I am delighted that we were one of the few councils to offer specific funding to these groups, who are often unsung heroes but make such a significant difference to the lives of so many with their work. I encourage all such groups whose work is being impacted by COVID-19 to go online and submit their application. We are here to help.”
David Lunts, the chief executive officer of OPDC, said: “We’re very pleased to support Ealing Council and Ealing Together by donating to local voluntary organisations who are providing urgent food supplies. OPDC applauds Ealing Council, the volunteer network across the borough and all those working tirelessly to ensure that vulnerable people in the community don’t go hungry. We’re grateful to play a part in supporting them and will continue to work with local councils and support groups during this difficult time.”
Groups interested in finding out more, or making an application, should go to Ealing Council‘s website.