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Thanking Calderdale’s amazing community groups

Published 28th Apr 2020 by Shaida Khan

Calderdale’s community groups, which provide a vital lifeline for the most vulnerable, are being reminded to apply for grants from Calderdale Council and the Community Foundation for Calderdale (CFFC) to help them respond to COVID-19.

Many groups across the borough have already applied for the Emergency Community Support Fund, which the Council and the CFFC launched on 15 April 2020. They are working through the applications and encouraging other groups to take advantage of up to £1000 each.

The fund acknowledges the incredible efforts of the local community sector and aims to help keep essential services running during the pandemic. Click here for more details and the application form. The fund is open to groups who don’t have bank accounts and / or constitutions – if they want to apply for grants but don’t have these, they can contact rob@cffc.co.uk for support.

The reminder to apply for funding comes as the Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift, has written to all voluntary and community groups across the borough to thank them for their hard work during the pandemic.

The open letter acknowledges the financial challenges that the voluntary sector is facing, but highlights the huge difference it is making to so many people’s lives.

From getting help and advice to those who need it, and talking to people who are lonely, to ensuring struggling families have food to eat, the borough’s community groups are there to help. Their joint work with the Council, the NHS and other partner organisations is an amazing example of Calderdale’s kindness and resilience, at a time when it is needed most.

Coordinating the community response is point four of the Council’s 10-point plan which sets out its response to COVID-19.

Cllr Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:

“Our outstanding community groups have always been a crucial part of what makes Calderdale so special. Their compassion, teamwork and determination ensure that our most vulnerable residents stay safe, well and happy, day in day out. In this national emergency, that support is needed more than ever.

“I wanted to put on record the Council’s thanks for everything that local voluntary organisations continue to do. We know they are pulling out all the stops and we hope our grants help to make the situation a little easier for them. I know that the appreciation expressed in my letter is echoed throughout our communities.”

Here is the full letter from Cllr Swift to all of Calderdale’s voluntary and community groups:

To all the voluntary and community groups in Calderdale

I am writing to you on behalf of Calderdale Council to express our thanks for the amazing work you do. The service and support you are providing to those who are often the most vulnerable in our society is essential.

The Covid-19 virus has impacted our lives to a scale not seen since the Second World War. Everyone has felt its impact across every level of society. Just as was the case then, ordinary people and their efforts are making the difference.

Many in our community who are vulnerable have been unable to leave their homes due to the risk the virus posed to their health. These people have been kept safe and well through your efforts. You have supported and stood shoulder to shoulder with our partners in the NHS, Police, and Social Care to help mitigate the effects of this terrible virus. You have been a lifeline in your communities, looking after those struggling, and exemplifying the virtue that kindness is indeed the currency of Calderdale.

We are all one team in Calderdale and your efforts have shown how strong our community roots are. We need organisations and community groups like you who even outside this time of crisis will go that extra mile to make Calderdale a better place.

You are pillars of your community and often act as the rock for others to build their lives upon. Whether it is by providing advice to those unsure about how to access help, being a voice and an ear for those who are lonely or just need to talk, or ensuring struggling families have food in the cupboard, you have been there to help. The voluntary sector has truly galvanised as one, using its combined resources to ensure no one is left behind. You provide life-changing services whether through your paid staff or through bands of committed volunteers with a mission.

I am aware of, and understand the financial pressures you face at this time, and I wrote with other Council Leaders and Chief Executives last month urging that financial support is made available nationally for the sector. Whilst I know some funding has been identified through various sources this is unlikely to fully address the challenges you face in meeting the needs, with us, of those who are isolated, vulnerable and at risk of negative consequences, directly and indirectly, from Covid19.

Thank you. Everything you do makes a difference. You should feel immense pride in the work you do and know it helps countless members of our community every day.Councillor Tim Swift MBE, Leader of Calderdale Council.


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