Community projects aimed at tackling some of the impacts of Covid could be in line for a cash boost after plans for a £1m Warwickshire County Council fund were given the green light.
Cash for the Social Impact Fund will come from the Government’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) but organisations will have to move quickly with the application window open for just eight weeks from the start of next month.
Cllr Heather Timms (Con, Earl Craven), the portfolio holder for environment, climate and culture, told this week’s cabinet meeting: “We did agree to bring forward a fund to act as a catalyst for building stronger communities and I hope in developing these proposals we’ll be able to support our voluntary community and social enterprises through this £1m fund.”
Following cabinet approval, the fund will launch on November 4, applications must be made by December 30 and the successful projects will have the payments by early March. The money must then be spent within 15 months.
A report presented to councillors explained that when considering the applications, projects based in areas with higher Covid infection rates and more deprived parts of the county would carry extra weighting.
It went on to explain that one of the aims nationally was to enable community-based support for those disproportionately impacted by Covid and in Warwickshire it was hoped that fund would provide extra support and community engagement in ‘vaccine shy’ areas with extra help being offered to people still struggling after contracting the virus.
Council leader Cllr Izzi Seccombe (Con, Stour and the Vale) said: “This is a very exciting step forward for our communities.
“There are some real benefits for those who have got long Covid and who are living with the impact of it and also trying to address the inequalities that we believe were apparent in the communities that might have been impacted.
“From my understanding we need to get on and spend this money otherwise it ends up going back.”
An online seminar for potential applicants will be organised by Warwickshire CAVA which will explain the fund and provide advice and guidance to organisations before they apply.