London,
19
May
2020
|
12:51
Europe/London

Camden invests almost £1m to support local voluntary organisations in their fight against Covid-19

Camden’s Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) have been vital in supporting residents throughout the Covid-19 outbreak. Some of the amazing work undertaken so far includes home food deliveries, employment advice and social outreach to help people stay connected - for many this has been a lifeline at an incredibly challenging time.

To support this inspiring community effort, Camden Council has invested £992,000 into the local VCS to help overcome financial challenges and adapt to new ways of reaching households in need.

This support includes:

  • A three months waiver of rent for VCS organisations operating out of Camden buildings.

  • Contributions of £215,000 to Camden Giving’s Covid-19 Charity Fund. The first awards from the fund provided 29 local organisations with up to £5,000 each. This has been supplemented with further donations from individuals and businesses amounting to £173,000.

  • A volunteer brokerage service to support recruitment of volunteers to local groups.

  • An additional investment of £300,000 in advice services over the next year to help meet the expected increases in demand from residents.

  • Support for social action and guidance tor Mutual Aid Groups. The groups have over 3,000 volunteers and are playing a vital role in local community support.

Councillor Jonathan Simpson, Cabinet Member for Promoting Culture and Communities
“Our voluntary sector have been essential in the local effort against Covid-19, providing vital support to the communities they serve. I want to commend their dedication and hope that this package of financial assistance will enable them to continue effectively delivering their vital services over the coming weeks and months.” 

“I’d also like to extend my gratitude to the amazing individuals who have volunteered their time over the past two months. Every contribution has been crucial, whether packing food parcels, making mutual aid deliveries or knocking on neighbour’s door just to check in. Camden’s community is one that cares and it’s incredible to see local people come together in even the most difficult circumstances.”
Councillor Jonathan Simpson, Cabinet Member for Promoting Culture and Communities

In addition to this support, Camden Council has already awarded £320,000 of Local Community Infrastructure Levy funding to community and voluntary organisations. Using this funding, groups such as Highgate Newtown Community Centre’s Meals on Wheels, the Salvation Army’s Rough Sleeper Response and the Somali Youth Development and Resource Centre will be able to continue delivering for their communities.

 

A further 10,000 food parcels delivered with help from Age UK Camden

The Council has provided a further £155,000 to Age UK Camden to deliver emergency food parcels to housebound residents. In many cases these residents have been told by the NHS that they are clinically vulnerable and so must stay at home. This grant, along with supplies delivered by Camden’s own Community Hub, has now helped facilitate the delivery of over 10,000 emergency food parcels in the borough.

Councillor Jonathan Simpson, Cabinet Member for Promoting Culture and Communities
“Age UK Camden are uniquely placed to offer tailored support to our communities and as such, have played a crucial role in supporting residents through this difficult time. Each food parcel helps a household and reminds us all of the kind and neighbourly spirit that exists in our borough. We are at our best when we work together and so, as we enter the next phase of the Covid-19 outbreak, I want to further extend my thanks and again reiterate Camden’s commitment to our brilliant voluntary sector.” 
Councillor Jonathan Simpson, Cabinet Member for Promoting Culture and Communities

For residents who are not self-isolating but are still struggling to access food, the Council has donated £10,000 to Euston Food Bank. We are also working to develop links between community organisations and food distribution groups to ensure that there remains a steady flow of supplies to distribute – one example is the Felix Project who now provide essentials to 19 community organisations. Thanks to this project, over 7 tonnes have been delivered in the last 2 weeks alone.

Hundreds more households are being supported by local food hubs established through our VCS. Some even provide hot meals, including Queen’s Crescent Community Association who have provided almost 100 meals a day throughout Ramadan.

You can find out more about the support available and how you can support the community response at camden.gov.uk/COVID-19