The Urgent Response Fund, which was set up two weeks ago by the Morecambe Bay Foundation, has already raised over £27,000, with some money already having been utilised to help organisations mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
Applications are now open for small grants to help charities and community groups in need of resources to effectively deliver projects or activities to support the basic health and wellbeing needs of vulnerable people.
Yak Patel, CEO of Lancaster District CVS and spokesperson for the Morecambe Bay Foundation said: “The fund was initially set up to provide much needed financial support to food banks, food clubs and community centres as quickly as possible to help them deal with the increased demand and strain on services.
"As planned, we are now ready to open applications to small voluntary groups with charitable aims, who are actively involved in addressing health and wellbeing issues brought about by the pandemic, as we all work together to ensure we can provide support where it is needed most.”
For the purposes of this scheme, the following definition of ‘vulnerable person’ will be used in all decision making: ‘An individual who is not able to respond and adapt to the impacts of the pandemic like the majority of people, due to their health, social circumstances or economic position’.
There is no minimum or maximum award amount, but the fund intends to award smaller grants for community-based activities with larger grants awarded to organisations providing district-wide support.
Awards will only be made to groups who have demonstrated that they will operate safely and in line with government guidance regarding the virus.
A panel consisting of health, council and voluntary sector representatives will be convened to assess applications. The scheme will utilise the existing panel that assesses applications made to the Lancaster District Community Wellbeing Fund, plus two elected members of Lancaster City Council.
The fund has already awarded grants to the likes of Eggcup, a Lancaster based not-for-profit organisation focused on food poverty and community building. As a result, they were able to provide more than 5,000 meals to those most in need.
Last updated: 09 April 2020