A £150,000 fund to support people experiencing hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic has been set up by Eden District Council.
The Eden Residents COVID-19 Support Fund will boost local organisations and charities that are helping families through the crisis.
The fund is being made available by the council to help provide a significant increase in support for local residents. It comes on top of the relief given on council tax bills for households who already pay less due to their personal circumstances.
A first round of finance is being directly channelled to ten organisations who are well placed to understand the needs and struggles that local families and individuals are going through.
One of the organisations to have received the funding is Cumbria Family Support. Chief officer Deb Royston said: “We are delighted to have received £5000 from Eden District Council to help with our work during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Our services for Eden are delivered by a mixture of paid staff and volunteers who are supporting 32 families with 64 children in the district, during what are already difficult times from them. Many of our families are experiencing additional isolation and poverty as a result of this crisis. The grant from the council will provide much needed additional support for these families at this difficult time.”
The other organisations included in the first round of funding include Eden Carers, Eden Valley Hospice, Carlisle Eden Mind and Hospice at Home and 4Eden.
Council leader Virginia Taylor said she hoped that by working with the charities the authority could ensure help got to a wider range of Eden residents.
She said: “Many people have had their incomes disappear or shrink overnight through no fault of their own. The intention of the government money was to relieve ‘hardship’ but the scheme is very limited. I was keen from the start that Eden should help people not eligible for that help
“We will rely on grassroots organisations to help the people they know. Local charities will be able to pass money on.
“I am afraid the amounts won’t compensate for loss of income but I hope a little help will help, and if more eligible money comes from central government we will add it to the pot.”
More Eden organisations are being encouraged to apply for grants to help their work in supporting residents. The application process is simple and promises to receive and deal with applications quickly in order to allow payments to be made at speed to those organisations helping people.
The Council has set up a simple application form with details on how to apply and it can be found at www.eden.gov.uk