Grants available to help people self-isolating due to coronavirus in South Cambridgeshire

The South Cambridgeshire District Council offices. Picture: Google Street View

The South Cambridgeshire District Council offices. Picture: Google Street View - Credit: Archant

Community groups and parish councils in South Cambridgeshire can now request additional grant funding from the district council to help them if there is a coronavirus outbreak in their village.

South Cambs district council has set aside £50,000 to support communities – including up-front grants of between £100 to £400 to make sure groups at the forefront of the village’s COVID-19 response can quickly reach people in the greatest need.

The amount available will vary according to the number of houses in the area covered, and is designed to support the work already being carried out in communities to help vulnerable people and those who need to self-isolate.

The money can be used to buy items such as sanitiser and basic protective equipment, to print information leaflets so people are informed about the help available, or to provide emergency food and electricity top-ups for people who need to suddenly self-isolate and are in financial hardship.

Cllr Bill Handley, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s lead cabinet member for community resilience, health and wellbeing, said: “Our community groups have done an incredible job to make sure that the most vulnerable people in their communities have been supported.

“They have organised help with everything from shopping to collecting prescriptions, walking dogs and checking that people are OK.

“In response to feedback we have received from them, and using the experience we have gained in the past few months, we are adjusting our response to give more local and targeted help.

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“This will make sure support reaches those most in need. And, of course, we will increase this support if cases rise or more help is needed in a certain village or community.”

The funds are intended to give initial help for a few days until other measures can be put in place, such as a claim for housing benefit, help with applying for Universal Credit or an application to the council’s own hardship fund. Funding will be made available immediately with the freedom to be used to support what is needed locally on the ground.

The council is writing to parish councils, community groups and leading volunteers inviting them to apply for the grants.