A total of £17,302 has already been paid in emergency grants to projects supporting the grassroots response to the Coronavirus pandemic in communities across Dumfries and Galloway.
First Base Agency, The Hub Dumfries and Galloway, Dumfries Welfare Rights, Furniture Project (Stranraer) and Glenkens Community and Arts Trust were all successful.
The aim is to get funds to communities as urgently as possible, with more than £250,000 being awarded to groups across Scotland in less than a week and with a typical turnaround time of 72 hours from application to payment.
Among the projects supported locally was a grant of £5000 to The Furniture Project Stranraer to purchase food and cover transport costs for the organisation’s Fed Up Café to deliver meals to people in need in Stranraer and surrounds over the duration of the coronavirus lockdown.
Paul Smith, of The Furniture Project Stranraer, said: “The grant will be used to supplement the food that the Fed Up Cafe gets from Fare Share. As it is, the Cafe is able to manage on a weekly basis from what it receives but will quickly run short with the increased demand on its services.
“The Cafe has moved from providing on average 45-50 meals per day to 130 take away meals last week, and expected to triple over the coming weeks. The food it receives from Fare Share will not be enough with the stock in the store/freezers will quickly deplete to the point where it will be without and unable to provide for those in need.
“The grant will be of a tremendous help and allow the Cafe to purchase fresh food and other produce and be the difference between eating and not eating for so many people in need. It will also mean that people will not require to go out of their homes to shop and continue to remain at home complying with the Government’s legislation.”
Emma Goodlad, of Foundation Scotland, said: “Across Dumfries and Galloway, local charities and community organisations are working in new ways and adapting to the immediate challenges that coronavirus is bringing. They are responding quickly with ingenuity, initiative and sheer human will.
“The Furniture Project in Stranraer is now running its Fed Up Café differently – delivering meals to those who might otherwise drop by. Here at Foundation Scotland we’re doing the same and adapting our systems to ensure groups like the Furniture Project receive cash very quickly. So in the first week of operating the Response Recovery and Resilience fund we have already sent just under £20,000 to groups in Dumfries and Galloway that are supporting the most vulnerable people in our communities and there are new applications coming in every day which we are turning around in 72 hours. So, we expect more cash to reach more Dumfries and Galloway groups very soon.
The fund supports constituted community groups and charities that are responding to the coronavirus pandemic in their local community with grants of between £1000 and £5000.
The projects are: First Base Agency (£4500) – To cover the additional cost per month to keep the foodbank stocked due to the current drop in donations and allow delivery of 3600 emergency food parcels over the next 3 months. Enabling organisations to meet the immediate practical needs of isolated people.
The Hub Dumfries (£2802) To enable the Hub’s Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme to continue to be delivered to people in housing need in Dumfries and Galloway through the purchase of IT equipment and software, online service subscriptions, mobile phone costs and travel costs hat support remote delivery of the Scheme. Ensuring organisations have working practices to operate remotely and meet increased need.
Dumfries Welfare Rights (£4000) – To provide computer and communications equipment (including a mobile call package), website updates and promotion to allow Dumfries Welfare Rights to provide advice and support remotely to the community in Dumfries and Galloway and further afield. Ensuring organisations have working practices to operate remotely and meet increased need.
Furniture Project (Stranraer) (£5000) – To purchase food and cover transport costs for the organisation’s Fed Up Café to deliver meals to people in need in Stranraer and surrounds over the duration of the coronavirus lockdown. Enabling organisations to meet the immediate practical needs of isolated people.
Glenkens Community and Arts Trust (£1000) – To deliver the current paper edition of the bi-monthly Glenkens Gazette community newspaper to every household in the community now that usual collection outlets (shops, village halls etc) are closed. Enabling organisations to tackle loneliness and promote positive living, wellbeing and resilience.