Cornerstone House Centre has approved dispersal of £72,000 funding to community and voluntary organisations operating in Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and the Northern Corridor for the purpose of tackling the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The organisation has in recent weeks been working with local and national partners to consider how it can best respond to the COVID-19 emergency to alleviate the negative impacts of the coronavirus crisis being experienced by individuals, families and wider communities in the Greater Cumbernauld area.
It was recognised that one of the most effective ways to ensure local citizens were being supported as fully as possible at this challenging time was to resource key organisations and service providers which have demonstrated innovation and evidenced tangibly positive impact in their COVID-19 response activities.
In this respect, Scottish Government, through The National Lottery Community Fund’s facilitation of its Supporting Communities programme, invited Cornerstone House Centre in its role as an established Community Anchor Organisation to disperse funds targeted specifically at benefiting people in Cumbernauld and surrounding areas most in need as a result of the crisis.
This dispersal of funds, entitled Cumbernauld GIVES (Grants Initiative for Virus Emergency Scheme), has resulted in 14 local community-focussed organisations receiving grants of £5,143 each to deliver targeted proposals contributing to the fight against coronavirus. This activity forms part of Scottish Government’s wider investment of £350 million to support local communities and households in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
The organisations endorsed to deliver proposals through Cumbernauld GIVES are (in alphabetical order) Bethlehem House of Bread Food Bank, Chryston Community Council, Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Citizens Advice Bureau, Cumbernauld FM, Cumbernauld Poverty Action, Cumbernauld Resilience Group, Cumbernauld Salvation Army, Cumbernauld YMCA-YWCA, Kilsyth and Villages Community Assistance, North Lanarkshire Women’s Aid, Northern Corridor Community Volunteers, One Parent Families Scotland (Lanarkshire Service) and Strathcarron Hospice. Mary McNeil, Development Manager at Cornerstone House Centre, commented:
“Cornerstone House Centre is delighted to be the broker and disperser of £72,000 of public funds which will play a major role in helping people and communities in Greater Cumbernauld respond, recover and rebuild in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Cumbernauld GIVES is enabling 14 key and suitable organisations to coordinate a raft of coronavirus relief measures which will significantly benefit several vulnerable client groups, including people in COVID-19 high risk categories, people with a physical disability or long term health condition, people facing mental health challenges, people on low incomes or with debt, people living alone, older people and carers.
“The organisations funded included 11 groups solely focussed on providing services within the local area and a further three delivering services to a wider area but using the money specifically for the benefit of people living in Greater Cumbernauld. There were ten registered charities and four unincorporated associations awarded grants.
“The funds will initiate activities such as regular delivery of nutritious food parcels to individuals and families who are experiencing poverty, coordination of targeted advice and information services for those severely affected by the crisis, facilitation of a safe and monitored outdoor playzone and garden area for Cumbernauld families during lockdown and loaning of bicycles to key workers and those requiring assistance with transport.
“Furthermore, the monies will also help a number of valued local voluntary sector organisations to reopen premises and key services thanks to being able to purchase a range of costly but necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).”
Through Cumbernauld GIVES, Scottish Government tasked Cornerstone House Centre with using its Community Anchor Organisation knowledge, expertise and transparent processes to identify and invite impactful local groups and organisations delivering key COVID-19 response activities to apply for and utilise appropriately targeted funds.
It was at the request of Scottish Government that the invitation to apply to Cumbernauld GIVES was not opened widely but instead focussed on providing opportunities to specific groups known to be making a real impact in tackling COVID-19 in Greater Cumbernauld with their work. In particular, Cumbernauld GIVES sought to support vital services not already with access to significant resources or in receipt of large grants to facilitate coronavirus response activity.
Following a detailed Cornerstone House Centre mapping of 85 independent and non-statutory COVID-19 response groups and activities in the Greater Cumbernauld area, 20 organisations had been recognised as significant contributors and met the eligibility criteria. These organisations were invited to submit proposals during May-June 2020, with 14 groups in total making application.
Each proposal was subsequently assessed and scored by an independent panel of community representatives in the areas of significance and need, approach and practicality, value and economics, and impact and outcomes.
Meanwhile, a new Participatory Funding (PB) opportunity for Cumbernauld organisations is set to be announced through Cornerstone House Centre’s Cumbernauld CAN (Community Anchor Network) project in the coming weeks.
Small Grants PB Fund Round 2 will enable local groups to design community-benefit projects for public consideration, with Cumbernauld citizens voting on which proposals receive funding. This follows on from a successful Small Grants PB Fund Round 1 facilitated during March-April 2020 through which 11 Cumbernauld organisations were awarded small grants.
COVID-19 RESPONSE PROPOSALS SUPPORTED BY CUMBERNAULD GIVES
In alphabetical order of organisation, the proposals funded through Cumbernauld GIVES to respond to the coronavirus pandemic in Cumbernauld and surrounding areas are summarised as follows:
Bethlehem House of Bread Food Bank has been awarded £5,143 to purchase and deliver essential groceries to Cumbernauld families and single people who are in isolation during the coronavirus pandemic through poverty, illness or age-related reasons.
Chryston Community Council has been awarded £5,143 to purchase eight adult hybrid bikes and bike locks for the local bike library to loan out free of charge to COVID-19 key workers, people returning to work and others in need in the Chryston community.
Cornerstone Christian Fellowship has been awarded £5,143 to distribute 200 portions of fresh homemade soup weekly to Cumbernauld citizens who are elderly, vulnerable, furloughed, unemployed or underprivileged as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Citizens Advice Bureau has been awarded £5,143 to purchase protective screens for meeting rooms and its reception area, as well as equipping its office with hand sanitisers, face masks and gloves to resume face-to-face advice services.
Cumbernauld FM has been awarded £5,143 to enable the local community radio station to purchase relevant and specialist equipment to allow continuation of broadcasting live shows, entertainment and key public information announcements during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cumbernauld Poverty Action has been awarded £5,143 to provide a new telephone appeals representation support service to Cumbernauld citizens who require to attend a remote Social Security Tribunal via telephone as a result of COVID-19 lockdown.
Cumbernauld Resilience Group has been awarded £5,143 to prepare and deliver in excess of 2,500 meals to the doorsteps of more than 400 disadvantaged people living in Cumbernauld who are shielding or considered vulnerable due to the coronavirus emergency.
Cumbernauld Salvation Army has been awarded £5,143 to supply Cumbernauld families experiencing poverty as a result of the coronavirus pandemic with dried and tinned food as well as fresh bread, cooked meats, pies and toiletries through a food bank provision.
Cumbernauld YMCA-YWCA has been awarded £5,143 to enable installation of outdoor toilet facilities which will allow the organisation to open its outdoor playzone and garden area during lockdown for the benefit of local families in a safe and protected environment.
Kilsyth and Villages Community Assistance has been awarded £5,143 to provide 30 healthy packed lunches per week to Kilsyth children experiencing poverty and ineligible to be supported through North Lanarkshire Council’s school meal vouchers programme.
North Lanarkshire Women’s Aid has been awarded £5,143 to install perspex shields between office desks, as well as being able to purchase a stock of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to enable the organisation’s face-to-face service to reopen.
Northern Corridor Community Volunteers has been awarded £5,143 to provide over 300 emergency food parcels per week to those living in Chryston, Gartcosh, Moodiesburn, Mount Ellen, Muirhead and Stepps severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
One Parent Families Scotland (Lanarkshire Service) has been awarded £5,143 to respond to a surge in Cumbernauld lone parents seeking support with benefits advice, welfare rights, holistic assessments and food bank referrals due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Strathcarron Hospice has been awarded £5,143 to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by creating a comprehensive map of associational life which will support and connect people in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth living with long term conditions to key services and activities.
Separate from Cumbernauld GIVES, Cornerstone House Centre continues to operate Cumbernauld CHaT (Community Help and Talk) Service during the coronavirus pandemic. This provides a first-stop shop telephone helpline, open from 9am-9pm every day, and email support service for anyone living in Greater Cumbernauld in need of advice, guidance, signposting, social contact or practical assistance as a result of COVID-19.
If you or someone you know needs help, advice or simply someone to talk to as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions, please contact Cumbernauld CHaT Service on 07940 569527 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A member of the team will discuss via telephone or email the need that you have and seek to help in the most suitable, practical and compassionate way.