Fifty three fantastic East Devon Coronavirus related projects have now been funded by the Covid-19 Fund, a joint grants scheme from East Devon District Council (EDDC) and Devon County Council (DCC).

The Covid-19 Fund is a small grants scheme that quickly provided small grants, typically be between £300 and £700. Community-led Coronavirus related projects and activities can apply for the small but important things that help them support vulnerable people in their communities.

The fund is still open to applications, find out more and apply: https://www.devon.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-in-devon/document/covid-19-fund/

The 19 grants that have given out jointly by DCC and EDDC since it opened to applications for the third time in early January are:

• Ottery Help Scheme - £700 for Personal Protective Equipment and telephone befriending particularly for those with dementia.
• Colyton Caterpillars - £700 towards home resources plus a support worker for advice and help, as well as resources to provide physical exercise for children.
• Axminster and Lyme Cancer Support - £500 to be used to help pay for weekly delivery of art and craft kits, magazines, books and jigsaws o help to relieve poor mental well-being.
• Parental Minds CIC - £600 to provide well-being workshops to aid prevention and early intervention of mental health issues within families.
• Sidmouth Hospice at Home - £685 for a laptop and Personal Protective Equipment for volunteers while driving patients to appointment.
• Sidmouth Voluntary Services - £700 to help pay for packaging for the meals and Personal Protective Equipment for the volunteers.
• Westbank Healthy Neighbourhoods project - £700 towards volunteer expenses and materials activity club for the aged.
• Axewoods Co-operative - £300 to pay mileage expenses to members to deliver logs around the region.
• Mill Water School - £700 towards travel costs for staff who are delivering teaching resources to pupils' doorsteps.
• Budleigh Hub, Westbank - £700 for transport of vulnerable people for their Covid vaccinations from their homes.
• Estuary League of Friends - £700 for transport of vulnerable people for their Covid vaccinations from their homes.
• Open Arms East Devon - £700 for a printer & tablet to support group for adults experiencing mental health difficulties.
• Ottery Community Volunteers - £700 for a tablet in the office so that everyone can see what bookings are made.
• Jelly South West CIC - £180 towards Zoom costs for providing business support.
• Arc (Axminster) Ltd - £700 of funding to increase capacity to be able to deliver this vital trauma treatment.
• Youth Genesis Trust Ltd - £120 of funding for online quizzes for young people, with support workers.
• Waffle Work/Lawson Computer Repair - £500 for costs to refurbish PCs and the purchase Windows 10 licenses and small parts to give to the local community.
• Devon in Sight - £700 towards emotional & wellbeing counselling for those of little or no sight.
• TRIP Community Transport - £600 towards admin and staff costs for volunteer cars for medical appointments.

To see other grants given out by the Covid-19 Fund: https://eastdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/community-support/covid-19-fund/ 

Cllr Jack Rowland, EDDC’s portfolio holder for finance and chair of the Community Grants Fund, said:

One of the positives that has emerged over the past year since Covid-19 struck is the even stronger community spirit across the whole district with people willing to volunteer to help others in multiple ways. The examples shown really illustrate this and I know personally, being a volunteer with the Seaton RE:STORE Community Group that benefitted from a grant award and also in the past as a volunteer driver for Trip Community Transport, how great a demand there is in the district for this type of assistance.

I applaud all the volunteer groups across East Devon for the invaluable help they are providing and encourage other volunteer groups who qualify, but may not have applied yet to do so.

Councillor Roger Croad, DCC cabinet member for communities, said:

It’s been a difficult year for everyone and it’s important that we continue to help communities support the vulnerable. There is some excellent work going on to maintain people’s physical and mental wellbeing while they are isolated.

We hope that the Covid-19 Fund will provide rapid and flexible financial support to better enable community groups to tackle some of the issues they face safely and in the ways that work best for them.