Organisations supporting vulnerable residents during the pandemic are being allocated more than £83,000 by Folkestone & Hythe District Council.

The money comes from the government’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF).

Its Third Sector Grants programme earmarked the money for those most at risk and F&HDC Cabinet members have agreed where it should be spent.

Folkestone Sports Centre Trust/ Hawkinge Community Centre will receive £10,000 for the Active Hawkinge project, which makes healthy exercise activities available to the local community and offers one-to-one support for those with health issues (including mental health).

Shepway Sports Trust’s Active Sports programme (£20,000) will continue with its free, weekly physical and social activities with an emphasis on those from low-income households.

The Folkestone Leas Lift Lockout Community Project (£10,000) will run a series of workshops for disadvantaged adults and young people around the design and construction of escape rooms. This will build on skills such as literacy, IT and puzzle solving, as well as helping with social confidence after isolation.

Age UK Hythe & Lyminge Winter Grants scheme (£5,000) will continue to assist elderly, vulnerable or isolating people in the area.

Also ongoing is Age UK South Kent Coast’s Covid Recovery, Impact of Covid and Winter Pressures Facing Older People in our Community project (£10,000), which supports older people living in Folkestone who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. It reconnects them with their local community, reducing loneliness and building confidence to return to everyday activities.

The Rainbow Centre’s Healthy Food Support programme (£5,115) will be able to provide an extra 120 food parcels to struggling families, as well as more fuel top-ups, sleeping bags and mobile phones to those in temporary accommodation.

Shepway Spectrum Arts’ Hummingbird Life Hub (£9,300) will increase the number of volunteers available to accompany clients, ensuring they don’t miss out on opportunities to take part in activities and to access support, and to help them recover from the impact of isolation.

Folkestone Youth Project’s Community Embrace and Lift (£9,100) will carry on providing emotional and social support to the local community through gardening, providing a safe outdoor space. An ‘urban wilderness’ will be created and environmental issues and solutions explored.

Citizens Advice Bureau’s COVID Recovery Support (£5,000) will continue to provide support for families and individuals experiencing hardship.

Cllr Jenny Hollingsbee, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “This money means organisations that were already doing an amazing job in supporting our residents who need help, can go that extra mile at a time when it is most needed.”

Cllr Jenny Hollingsbee

By Ed

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