Barnet Council has awarded £50,000 of grants to voluntary and community organisations facing threat to their survival through loss of income, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fourteen of Barnet’s voluntary and community organisations have been awarded funding via the Covid-19 Sustainability Impact Fund. They each received individual grants of up to £5,000 to enable them to continue carrying out the essential work they are doing to support elderly people, vulnerable adults, young people or children living in Barnet.
The awards took account of each applicant’s work in, and benefits to, the local community; its alignment with the council’s corporate plan and priorities; and the financial impact the pandemic has had on them.
Among the successful applicants are Friend In Need Community Centre, who support older adults to live independently and tackle isolation; Bread n Butter CIC, who have adapted their activity to cook and deliver nutritious meals to local communities in Barnet; and Clitterhouse Farm Project, who have safely kept their community garden open to residents to help tackle isolation, depression and promote wellbeing throughout the pandemic.
John Wilks, Director of Friend In Need Community Centre said: ‘Having ‘lost’ 65% of our [self-earned] income, this most welcome grant will help us retain our qualified, furloughed, staff until we are able to, again, provide our face to face services.’
Filomena Komodromou, Founder and Director, Bread n Butter CIC, said: ‘“Having been awarded the Sustainability Fund from Barnet Council means that as a community focused organisation we are now in a better position to continue to further support those in need and re-evaluate our business model to the ever evolving needs of our community during these unprecedented times.”
Paulette Singer, Founding Director of Clitterhouse Farm Project, said: “Clitterhouse Farm Project will be using these funds to continue to deliver our incredible community garden space, weekly plant sales and tasks set for people through lockdown. We will also be able to support the ongoing co-ordination of the Farm Cafe as our build started up again this week. We hope by October we will have a cafe to meet in once lockdown is over!”
The income was drawn from the Edward Harvist Charity, which is usually disbursed to the voluntary and community sector through the council’s corporate grants programme. The charity’s trustees agreed to earmark £50,000 for the Sustainability Impact Fund for the purpose of sustaining organisations during the pandemic.
Further funding is available via the Barnet Community Response Fund, which was set up by the Barnet Together partnership to help food banks, small charities and local organisations working with communities most at risk and affected by the crisis. Barnet Council initially contributed £50,000 to the fund and then committed an additional £25,000 to match-fund public donations.
In addition to the £75,000 contributed by the council, the Barnet Community Response Fund relies on generous donations from members of the public.
Organisations of all sizes who are undertaking work to support the Barnet community in the face of Covid-19 are encouraged to apply for small grants to ensure they can continue operating and providing essential support to local residents.