Grants totalling more than £33,000 are being made to ten local community groups from the council’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency fund.
The fund was set up to help community and voluntary organisations in Brighton & Hove who are supporting the city’s most vulnerable residents.
A variety of projects will benefit, ranging from a group providing vital support to autistic adults, to volunteers delivering craft packs to help with schooling at home.
The grants are part of the first round of funding – further applications are being considered and more grants will be made later this month.
Groups awarded grants so far include:
- Assert Brighton & Hove – to purchase laptops and other items, including Zoom licences, to provide ongoing support for autistic adults
- Together Co – to increase capacity and provide online support and training for new volunteers, to meet soaring demand for befriending services
- Chomp – to support work being carried out with vulnerable families, including the purchase of supplies for craft packs for children learning at home
- The Real Junk Food Project – to repair food chiller units in two sites being used for food distribution
- New Note Projects – to enable the charity, which runs an orchestra for people recovering from addiction, to create an online platform for musicians to connect and post music instead
Councillor Alan Robins, chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture committee, said: “Everyone is pulling together and it’s wonderful to see the work being carried out by community and voluntary groups across the city to support vulnerable people.
“Groups have reacted quickly and come up with creative ideas to carry on serving the people who need them, and our emergency fund is providing financial support to help them.”
Sarah Archer, Strategic Development Manager at Assert (B&H), said: “The COVID-19 crisis has required us to adapt our working methods extremely quickly.
"We have started to use new resources, delivery platforms and mechanisms to deliver our services remotely to ensure that we can still provide support to hundreds of autistic adults in Brighton & Hove.
“Staying connected and ensuring that people do not feel alone through this crisis has been especially important for Assert, as we support many people who already struggled with social isolation.
"This funding has meant that we can purchase new equipment, have some remote training sessions for staff and buy new tools and licences, all of which are enabling us to reach out to our service users and stay connected with people.”
Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency fund
In total, the council has pledged £150,000 to support organisations facing unexpected costs as a direct result of the impact of COVID-19. The money is coming from the council’s Communities Fund and is being released in three phases, with the current grants being made from the first phase of £50,000. The remaining funding will become available as the changing needs from the emergency unfold.
How to apply
Community and voluntary organisations can apply for grants of up to £5,000.
Support for community food appeal
In addition to the emergency fund, the council is contributing £30,000 to Brighton & Hove Food Partnership’s appeal to raise money to provide food for vulnerable and isolated people.