The Community Support Fund – North Hertfordshire District Council
Posted on 4th October, 2021
Ensuring that community groups were able to continue essential services to residents throughout the pandemic.
North Herts is a district with a large older population as well as a number of deprived areas. The pandemic therefore produced a significant challenge around issues like loneliness, and the ability of many to afford basic needs. The Council felt equipped to address these issues by the strong relationships its Community Engagement colleagues had already built with many community groups including food provision services, as well the pot of funding designated for major incidents.
The Council therefore developed a Community Support Fund for groups put under increased pressure by the pandemic, and who were providing support in one of three key areas: food and essentials; mental health support; domestic abuse support. Two funding options were available: a one-off grant open to application from any community group; and funding agreements – on approach from North Herts District Council (NHDC) – to known providers who offer wide provision across the district, including rural areas.
The ultimate aim was to ensure the survival of community groups who provide essential services for residents, in order to avoid the wider harm that could occur in communities if such groups were unable to survive the pandemic. The project therefore exemplified values and principles of social responsibility, solidarity, and concern for community and its sustainable development, all of which are integral co-operative values.