New Covid-19 Support Fund launched

A new £615,000 Covid-19 Support Fund aimed at helping community groups and organisations support the health and wellbeing of residents as they recover from the Covid pandemic has been launched.

The Knowsley Foundation – a collaboration between Knowsley Council, Knowsley Chamber of Commerce, One Knowsley and the Community Foundation for Merseyside – has launched the fund which will support activities to improve the lives of people in the community whose physical or mental health has been impacted by Covid, including those suffering from “long Covid”.

It will also provide funding for groups involved in building community resilience through the prevention and control of outbreaks, supporting them to forge new collaborations, gather intelligence, improve online access and support for residents, and increase community empowerment.

Who can apply?

Voluntary, community and faith organisations, registered charities, companies limited by guarantee, churches, PTAs and parish/town councils based in Knowsley and deliver services or activities in the borough are eligible to apply for two funding programmes.

Programme 1

Grants are available for revenue projects up to £50,000 that will deliver one or more of the following priorities:

1. To improve physical and mental health for:

  • those recovering from COVID-19 (from 12 weeks of a positive case)
  • those specifically suffering from “Long COVID”.
  • for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) and wider vulnerable groups who have been shielding.
  • those who have become socially isolated as a result of COVID-19

2. To improve support for carers who have been impacted by COVID-19 including access to respite provision and bereavement support.

3. To provide support for young people experiencing educational, mental health and wellbeing, or economic challenges because of COVID-19

4. To enhance Knowsley’s green spaces as a means of recognising the importance of these areas throughout the pandemic, and providing opportunities for people to improve their wellbeing, build connections, and a create a greater sense of civic pride.

Programme 2

Grants are available for capital projects up to £10,000 for projects that will deliver one or more of the following priorities:

1. Recognising the digital shift brought about by Covid-19, improve online access and support for residents to reduce digital exclusion.

2. A one-off investment to support community groups and help them to ‘scale up’ or expand their activities. For example, to increase the numbers of participants in existing locations; to increase the number of locations and activities of the group across the borough; to help their future sustainability and/or growth plans.

Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, Cllr Shelley Powell said: “Throughout the pandemic we have worked in partnership with those in our communities who have provided vital support to those facing hardship and I am delighted that this fund will further enhance that work. It will offer specific support for some of the key challenges we still face – such as those recovering from ‘Long Covid’ and struggling with the economic challenges created by Covid 19.”

Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Health, Cllr Christine Bannon said: “We all know the many ways in which the Covid pandemic has impacted the lives of our residents and we are committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of our communities as they recover from Covid 19. This fund will support a wide range of grass roots organisations and groups who are delivering vital services and support to tackle COVID-19 by working to break the chain of transmission and protecting the most vulnerable.”

The Covid-19 Support Fund opens for applications at 9.00 am Friday, 4 June 2021, and the fund will close at 5.00 pm Friday, 2 July 2021. Fund application forms are available here: Available Funds | Community Foundation (cfmerseyside.org.uk)

To provide an overview of the application process and answer questions, a series of short online “community workshops” with be held each Friday throughout June. If you wish to attend please register your interest by contacting erica.yates@knowsley.gov.uk

Further details of the Covid-19 Support Fund can be found by contacting the Community Foundation for Merseyside on 0330 440 4900, email- applications@cflm.email