An emergency meeting of Stanley Town Council last night green-lit a £63,000 coronavirus response programme to help communities through the crisis.
Councillors approved the package at a meeting specially-convened to agree what support was required and where it was most urgently needed.
The emergency measures will ensure that 23 organisations and community buildings, such as PACT House, Single Homeless Action Initiative in Durham (SHAID) and Just for Women, to name but a few, can not only keep their services running, but also enhance some areas of provision to support COVID 19 response efforts.
The measures put forward by Council Leader, Les Timbey, also include re-prioritising Stanley Town Council’s employees to deliver emergency aid and provide help at some of the facilities supported by the emergency response package.
Cllr Timbey said: “We find ourselves in unprecedented times and, as such, we must take unprecedented action.
“The measures outlined will come into force immediately and provide direct support to the people of Stanley. It is our duty to take care of the people in our communities, to make sure they have food, medication and the help and support required.
“In Stanley, we’re fortunate to have a range of organisations that deliver key services to some of the most vulnerable people in our society and by looking after them with this financial and physical support, we’re helping them look after others.
“COVID 19 has brought the world to a standstill, but one thing remains certain – we will get through this. It might take a month, three months or a year, but we will emerge from this crisis a stronger, smarter and more caring society.”
In total, 23 organisations are in-line for support grants, ranging from £500 to £3,000. The comprehensive list of buildings receiving the funds covers the entire Stanley Town Council area.
Among the organisations receiving support via the £64,000 response fund, are:
- PACT House
- Just for Women
- The Venue
- Annfield Plain and Catchgate Partnership
- Annfield Plain Community Centre
- Shield Row Community Hut
- Tantobie Community Centre
- Quaking Houses Village Hall
Cllr Carl Marshall said the funds are aimed at bolstering front line resilience as the fight against the coronavirus continues.
He said: “What we have done is agree to target our key community anchors and venues with support that enables them to keep the lights on while their services are required. As Les said, we help them, they help others and that is how we will get through this pandemic, by helping each other out.
“I am immensely proud of the way our local people and organisations have already mobilised to help our town and surrounding areas, but more must be done and we must not tire in our efforts to make sure every single member of our communities receives the help and contact they need.
“Stanley Town Council employees will be delivering food and prescriptions, helping co-ordinate volunteers, operating a helpline (07720 650 533), and helping with loneliness and isolation.
“Our message to residents is stay home, stay safe and if you need help, we’re here for you.”