Stanley Area Action Partnership (AAP) was given money as part of The Council’s £1.4m coronavirus support fund to award to organisations that have been helping others during the government’s lockdowns and closure of businesses.
Quaking House Village Hall received a grant to deliver its project, ‘Quakies Covid-19 – Satellite Centre’, using the village hall as a hub for people to collect food packages.
Volunteers gathered spare fresh produce received by PACT House and utilised the village hall to prepare meals and deliver to vulnerable residents in Quaking Houses and Old South Moor.
Volunteers also created ‘Covid-19 Boredom Buster Activity Packs’, tailored to residents of particular ages, and delivered them to families, elderly and vulnerable people to keep them engaged and entertained while forbidden to leave the house during lockdown.
While supporting vulnerable residents with this project, Quaking Houses Village Hall and PACT House found they had received a lot of vegetables but few meat products or staple foods such as flour and pasta. The partnered organisations approached Stanley AAP for funding to help purchase the missing staples and ensure meals were nutritious for residents who received them.
PACT House also teamed up with Craghead Village Hall and received a grant to set up a satellite foodbank to provide crisis food and support packs, toiletries, sanitary products, and baby milk and nappies. The scheme has been run and delivered by volunteers who have been supporting 100 people per week during the outbreak.
PACT House also received funding support from local member Cllr Carl Marshall, from his Neighbourhood Budget, for its PACTLights project to help people in the Stanley area manage their mental health. PACT House volunteers have been talking to approximately 200 residents per week and the funding from Cllr Marshall has enabled the project to expand with a qualified counsellor providing one-to-one telephone support regarding specific mental health issues.
Also to receive funding was Stanley Young People’s Club, who developed lesson, homework and craft packs to support families with school-age children who were struggling to print school worksheets and activity guides after it was identified that some households did not have suitable devices or IT provisions to do so.
Stanley Events received funding to help create a Community ICT Library for people without computer or internet access. The ICT loan scheme saw Stanley Events work with PACT House, Just for Women and other local providers to help people get online. The project aims to tackle loneliness and helps isolated people gain virtual face-to-face support. Long term, it will become a programme for virtual learning activities across the community.
Cllr Brian Stephens said: “Stanley AAP quickly found that there have been a great number of voluntary and community organisations in the area that have stepped up to provide support to those in need during the coronavirus outbreak. As a result, we and the AAP were more than happy to allocate some of our coronavirus support fund to as many of these vital causes as possible.
“It is great to see the money from the support fund has been used to back so many important projects that provide a wide range of valuable services, such as mental health support, provision of essentials, combating isolation, and help for young people.”
More information about AAPs and the services available can be found at www.durham.gov.uk/aaps