Wealden Council is looking to see what extra measures can be put in place to help the district’s voluntary sector over the coming months.
Cllr Philip Lunn, the council’s cabinet member for community and public health, said many summer events, which were the mainstay for local charities, were not now taking place and the sector was facing what could be a difficult period.
He said: “There can be no doubt about the important role voluntary groups play in our local communities. Their response to the Covid Crisis has been tremendous.
“Our Covid Crisis Fund has paid out over £5,000 to 12 organisations to help cover costs incurred through their community support work.
“They have been providing shopping, prescriptions and wellbeing services to vulnerable and self-isolating people across the district.
“All have been helping residents who contact the Wealden Community Hub, which is continuing to help vulnerable people, for assistance.”
Organisations receiving Covid Crisis Fund payments have included Age Concern, Heathfield and District; Alfriston Emergency Group; Carillon Cottage, Wadhurst; Hailsham Foodbank; MAYFACS, Mayfield; Rotherfield St Martin and Uckfield Volunteer Information Centre. Grants paid range from £50 to £500.
Cllr Lunn said: “Talking to the groups that have helped the Wealden Community Hub, it is clear that many volunteers have not sought any compensation for money that may have been spent in helping their fellow citizens.
“To them, this spirit of generosity was all part of responding to the devastating effects of Coronavirus. We cannot thank them enough,” added Councillor Lunn.
The council is now looking at how its resources can be used to ensure the vibrant volunteer sector does not suffer due to a lack of fund raising events and engagement opportunities.
Cllr Lunn said that as social distancing restrictions ease, it is hoped that many events will be able to take place later this year. But, for voluntary organisations that can’t reschedule, the council is aware that a spring and summer of cancellations may have a significant effect on their future viability.
The Wealden Community Hub can be contacted via the Covid-19 pages on the Wealden website or by telephoning 01323 443322.