In the face of adversity, hope can be restored by the acts of others.
At Stanley Town Council our hopes and spirits have been lifted by the amazing response to the COVID-19 crisis across our communities, particularly from those organisations that deliver such important services to the people of our area.
We also hope the swift response of the Council, and the immediate delivery of our emergency support package, will inspire people and assure them that we are doing all we can to help during these unprecedented times.
To update you on progress, the emergency fund we created has already issued aid to the tune of £63,000 to help communities through the coronavirus crisis.
Having approved the package, we moved quickly to ensure funding was delivered to 22 organisations and community buildings in less than two weeks.
We understand how important this emergency funding is for some of our most essential community organisations, to enable them to keep their doors open and provide help and support when it is needed most.
The feedback we have had from these groups has been incredible, with many reporting that it has enabled them to keep running limited services for vulnerable people.
The 22 organisations receiving emergency support grants, ranging from £500 to £3,000 (PACT House and SHAID received more for services supplied to the area during the crisis):
- Pact House
- Just for women
- The Venue
- Annfield Plain Community Centre
- Annfield Plain Cricket Club
- Beamish and East Stanley Cricket Club
- Beamish Community Football Centre
- Craghead Village Hall
- Shield Row Gardens Community Room
- The Haven – South Moor
- The Activity Den
- Stanley Indoor Bowls Club
- St Stephens Centre
- Oxhill Youth Club
- Stanley Young Peoples Club
- Tantobie Community Centre
- Tanfield Lea and District Community Centre
- Quaking Houses Village Hall
- St Margaret’s Church Hall
- While le Head Church Hall
- South Moor Methodist
We allocated money immediately to the Just for Women Centre. Sadly, we are aware of the raised risk of domestic abuse during a period of lockdown. We wanted to help with the added workload facing the centre, long before the Government implemented its measures.
I can’t put into words how proud I have been of Stanley Town Council employees, who were quick to join the effort delivering emergency aid and providing help across the area.
I’d like to thank everyone at the Council who have worked so hard to create the emergency package and make sure it was distributed so quickly. All Council staff not directly involved with frontline COVID response, are working from home, following government guidelines. As much as possible, they ensure the continued running of the Council.
We have also made the Civic Hall a hub for COVID-19 response. It now houses the Venue’s foodbank, which had to close due to the age of its volunteers, categorised as “vulnerable”. The Civic is being used for deliveries of supplies and preparation of foodbank parcels. This is overseen by the brilliant PACT House team, which is also overseeing all distribution and monitoring calls to the emergency line and social media contact.
PACT House mobilised its army of volunteers to support communities. Partnering with Annfield Plain Community Centre, its crisis support plan has seen it distribute food, toiletries and ready-made meals from both sites. PACT has also opened a satellite foodbank at Craghead Village Hall.
By April 15, almost 550 people had accessed this support.
It is our duty and honour to take care of the people in our communities, to make sure they have food, medication and the help and support required. We assess the situation daily, with regular conference calls to discuss areas of need and agree immediate priorities.
Sadly, we all know only too well the impact this pandemic is having on our care homes, but I’d like to thank Cllr Carol Hampson, who has been in touch with every care home in the area to offer our support, thanks and prayers.
Stanley Town Council is working with a number of advice services, Durham County Council and a host of organisations in the voluntary sector to support our community.
The impact of COVID-19 has been horrific, but we will get through this. If it takes a month, three months or a year, we will emerge from this crisis a stronger, more resilient and more caring society.
Finally, I would like to reiterate our thanks – thank you to all partners, volunteers and community groups who are working so hard. Thank you to all care staff and key workers across the town. And thank you to our residents for isolating where they needed to, and respecting the rules on social distancing.
Our message, as it has been throughout this crisis, is stay home, stay safe and if you need help, we’re here for you.”
Key contact details:
- Stanley Town Council: 01207 299109 www.stanley-tc.gov.uk
- Civic Hall: 07720650533
- Durham County Council: 03000 26 00 00 www.durham.gov.uk/coronavirus
- PACT House: 07720 650533 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Annfield Plain Community Centre: 07564 044509
- Craghead Village Hall, new number 07592059022
PACT House is operating Fresh Foodbank / Crisis Support Packs:
- Monday to Friday 10.00am to 4.00pm and Saturday 11.30am to 1.30pm Fresh food from Fareshare and Daily Donations, Food Parcels / Crisis Packs
- Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10.00am to 12.00noon PACT Volunteers operate the Durham Christian Partnership Foodbank for people with referral vouchers.
Crisis Food/Toiletry Packs, Frozen Meal Delivery, Shopping and delivery, collecting prescriptions, posting mail / carry out errands.
Receive a friendly phone call, signpost and referral to agencies as required via AICD Hubs.