30 Apr 2020
We’re delighted to have awarded over £1,000,000 in funding from our Coronavirus Community Fund. In just four weeks nearly 300 local communities who are doing amazing work supporting the vulnerable at this challenging time have received grants. Huge thanks to our partners including NET, Ulster Garden Villages Ltd, ARN Foundation, VSB, DAERA, Bank Of Ireland, DfC, Lightbody Foundation and Citi for support and contributions to make this happen. We’ve caught up with some of the groups below to see the impact they’ve achieved.
Greater Shantallow Community Arts
Awarded £7,500 from the Coronavirus Community Fund to provide meals to vulnerable individuals in their community. At the outset of this current Covid-19 crisis, Greater Shantallow Community Arts took the decision to suspend all their normal services transforming their community cafe space and catering facilities into a relief centre to support the elderly, vulnerable and isolated residents in the Derry~Londonderry community. Volunteer delivery drivers on Monday alone brought 467 meals to the doorsteps of those most isolated as a result of the current crisis, to date the group have cooked, packed and delivered over 6,000 meals. The need and demand for support is increasing daily and the group have set in place a structured safe process that allows their team to respond to immediate need but also to signpost and flag up to other community services to, vulnerable and isolated people they are working with.
Mae Murray Foundation
Over the past few weeks Mae Murray Foundation have been providing virtual sessions online for not only their members but the wider community. The group works to support the over 50s carers and the individuals they are caring for, supporting all ages and abilities to take part in activities, experience the world and enjoy friendship together in an inclusive environment. They deliver three virtual sessions per week aimed specifically at older adults and run a further five sessions per week aimed at those with learning difficulties giving their cares some much-needed respite. Sessions cover a range of activities from music nights to laughter yoga to storytelling, adding fun and a structure to the participants week.
Brain Injury Matters
A new project called the Positivity Hub, provides an expanded telephone counselling service, and additional online wellbeing and arts and crafts sessions for isolated people with acquired brain injury in Belfast. Brain injury Matters was awarded £7,908 through the Coronavirus Community Fund to help survivors of acquired brain injury (ABI) to reduce feelings of isolation, anxiety and stress brought on by their brain injury and made worse by the coronavirus.
Given current restrictions, the team can’t provide any face to face contact, and these are people who are even more profoundly socially isolated than normal. The Positivity Hub creates a space to engage with individuals who would have been attending the Brain Injury centre. Through telephone counselling and video calls (using apps such as Skype/Zoom etc.) the team have been adapting their delivery and access to rehabilitation in the form of health promotion, creativity, play therapy and counselling input.