A total of £20,000 has been given to voluntary and community organisations as part of the first round of funding this week.
The emergency grants of £5,000 each was given and approved by the council and its partners for organisations helping disadvantaged and under-represented communities across the borough to support their response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The successful applicants are Havering Mind, a local mental health charity; Havering Asian Social and Welfare Association (HASWA), an Asian community-led charity that provides a wide range of activities to all, regardless of age, gender, religion or background; Hope4Havering, a night shelter for homeless people in the borough and Harold Hill Food Bank, whose current focus is to provide three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced emergency food.
All applications were considered by the Havering Funding Programme panel based on criteria that assessed how well they are meeting the needs of the people they support as well as the long-term needs of the organisation.
The Havering Funding Programme is a partnership between charities and community network Havering Compact, seed funder for the not-for-profit sector, The Fore and Havering Council, that will help charities and voluntary organisations meet the rapidly changing needs of their communities and prepare for when the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Examples of how grants might be used include, help developing and adapting services through virtual or remote methods, support with running costs, and help covering losses incurred due to the crisis and sustaining existing income sources disrupted by Coronavirus.
Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said:
“The local voluntary sector and the help they provide has never been as important as it is during the Coronavirus crisis.
“I am truly humbled by the way that Havering’s volunteer and community organisations have rallied to provide critical help to our most vulnerable residents. Whether it is delivering essential food parcels to those in need, offering medical assistance or just being there to offer emotional support, their work is helping hundreds of Havering residents get through this crisis.
“I am proud that the Council is able to support the work of these Havering Heroes who are pivotal in our ability to be there for those most in need.”
Chief Executive of Havering Mind, Sarah Balser said:
“Thank you Havering Funding Programme from everyone at Havering Mind. This grant helps us continue to be here for anyone who is struggling to cope and wants to talk to someone during the COVID-19 crisis”.
Extra cash to support the Funding Programme is being raised through the Havering Heroes SpaceHive Community Response Crowdfunding Campaign. So far, the campaign has raised £5,603 between 73 donors.
All funds will go towards boosting the scale of the Havering Funding Programme and making sure that more emergency grants are available to charities and voluntary organisations who need them. The campaign has only seven days left to reach its £10,000 target, which will provide two charities with emergency funding of £5,000 to reach thousands of people in need across the borough.
The Council continues to support the efforts of charities across the borough and is working in partnership with Havering Mind to provide Trauma and Bereavement counselling to those affected by the COVID-19 crisis as well as with Tapestry to launch a new Befriending Phone Service for isolated and vulnerable residents.