Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson has today (Thursday 2 July) announced a new grant fund of £50,000 for the communities of Wiltshire and Swindon.
His COVID-19 Response Fund, in partnership with the Wiltshire Community Foundation, will support community and voluntary groups that are struggling to keep their organisation going or are facing unexpected costs due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Macpherson said: "Voluntary organisations play an important role within our communities, and in helping me to meet my priorities.
"The Coronavirus pandemic is having a wide reaching impact across our communities. These organisations are struggling as they are now restricted in their ability to fundraise, they may be operating with reduced staff and volunteer numbers, or may even be facing an increase in demand due to the current situation.
"These organisations work to provide services that benefit communities, services that are needed more than ever during this difficult time, and services and skills that we will call upon when our communities begin to recover.
"It is only right that I do all I can to support and help safeguard these organisations for the future so they can continue their work, and I am pleased that I am able to offer my support, through the COVID-19 Response Fund, at this incredibly difficult time."
The PCC's fund will form part of Wiltshire Community Foundation's Wiltshire and Swindon Coronavirus Response Fund, which has already distributed more than £560,000 to 153 groups across the county.
The Commissioner's funding will be prioritised for groups that assist in achieving three of the main priorities in his Police and Crime Plan: to prevent crime and keep people safe; protect the most vulnerable people in society, and put victims, witnesses and communities at the heart of everything we do.
Wiltshire Community Foundation interim co-chief executive Fiona Oliver said: "We have had wonderful support from the Police and Crime Commissioner for many years, so we are delighted to maintain and strengthen our relationship with this new fund. The Commissioner has put great faith in our knowledge of the voluntary sector so we are really looking forward to seeing the positive changes this fund will inspire in our communities."
This new COVID-19 funding stream continues the Police and Crime Commissioner's support for community and voluntary groups, and follows on from a recent grant process to direct Ministry of Justice funding to local organisation supporting victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
The Police and Crime Commissioner would like to encourage all those organisations who are supporting those most vulnerable in our community and are working to keep our communities safe to visit the website and find out if they are eligible to apply. Organisations can apply for costs to help keep them going during and after the crisis, or additional costs including new projects or developments of existing service to help support the community during this pandemic.