Frontline charities and local community groups have been providing essential support and assistance to Trafford residents throughout the Covid-19 outbreak thanks to timely grants from the Trafford Crisis Fund.
The fund is administrated by Trafford Housing Trust on behalf of residents and, alongside Trafford Council, is supported by the Trafford Partnership: a group of charities, residents, businesses, community and faith groups committed to supporting Trafford residents.
Since it was set up in April, the fund has been boosted by generous donations from businesses and individuals and fundraising by local groups keen to support their fellow residents during the pandemic. In that time over 40 community groups, not-for-profit organisations and charities have received targeted funding to allow them to deliver much-needed services across Trafford.
The Altrincham and Hale Muslim Association received a grant to enable it to deliver freshly prepared healthy meals to people isolated in their homes.
Zainul Sachak, spokesperson for the association, said: “Many people have faced difficult challenges during the crisis and a freshly prepared meal, made by a local restaurant or food supplier, delivered by a friendly person can have a significant impact on their wellbeing. We are grateful for this grant from the Trafford Crisis Fund, which has made a massive difference to how many people we can reach.”
Kate McGeevor from Stretford Public Hall, said: “The funding we received from the Trafford Crisis Fund has facilitated Stretford Public Hall to become the Community Response Hub for the Stretford area, supporting residents who have been shielding to access food and medication and carrying out wellbeing calls to people who are feeling isolated.
“It has also enabled us to produce a community newsletter, 'The Civic', which has got vital information out to the community during the pandemic. The newsletter has encouraged people who might not be used to asking for help to get in touch with the Hub, so that we can support them and signpost them to appropriate services.”
Barakah Food Aid received £2,000 from the Trafford Crisis Fund to deliver food parcels to residents struggling with food poverty. Representative Manzoor Ali said: “For the last 11 years we've been running as a local community set-up, and during the lockdown the need for our service sky rocketed beyond anything we could have imagined.
“The support from the local community, and from the Trafford Crisis Fund, has been more important than ever before, and without it we would have struggled to support the numbers that we did.”
Aileen Edmunds, Head of Development at Trafford Housing Trust, said: “We are going to see huge social consequences to Covid-19, as people potentially lose their income, run out of savings and possibly lose their home. We need to come together to make sure we support our friends and neighbours. So much of the vital support needed rests on tiny local charities and their staff and teams, who need basic funding for food parcels, petrol, and other costs, in order to keep running.”
Cllr Graham Whitham, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Communities and Partnerships, added: “The way local community groups have responded on the ground to the Covid-19 challenge has been nothing short of exceptional, and the Council has made their financial support a priority.
“This has been in the form of direct grants and also by linking with Trafford Housing Trust and the Trafford Partnership to set up the Trafford Crisis Fund to enable businesses and individuals to play their part and contribute to the cause.
“People often ask how they can help in their immediate neighborhoods, so we have done our best to make this easy by creating a Just Giving page where anyone can make a donation, however big or small. We’re grateful to everyone who has contributed and hope people will continue to donate to support what has to date been an impressive community effort.”
Donations can be made to the Trafford Crisis Fund here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/TraffordCrisisFund
Community groups wishing to apply for grants can do so via Trafford Housing Trust’s Social Investment Fund Home - Social Investment Fund and Trafford Council’s Inclusive Neighbourhood Grant website https://www.trafford.gov.uk/residents/community/partnerships-and-communities/Inclusive-neighbourhoods.aspx
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