Council supports more Ryedale charities and voluntary groups: Cllr Steven Arnold

18 Jun 2020

Council supports more Ryedale charities and voluntary groups

Ryedale District Council has announced more financial support to grass-roots voluntary and community organisations as part of its £40k Emergency Grants Fund.

The funding was set up to ensure that the vital work of such organisations can continue during COVID-19.

The second-wave of funding goes to Ryedale Community Transport, Ryedale Special Families and Next Steps Mental Health whose work in the community is under threat due to lack of cash.

Grants of up to £4k have been awarded to be spent on new services, or a change in service delivery, so that those who need support during these difficult times, continue to get it.

Speaking about the initiative, Councillor Keane Duncan, Leader of Ryedale District Council, said:

“The Emergency Grants Fund is our way of stepping in to support those organisations who are carrying out vital work in the community at this difficult time. COVID-19 has had a major impact on their services, with the lockdown putting a stop to their fund-raising activities and day-to-day operations.  These groups need support to survive, so the Council is stepping in to help."

Councillor Steve Arnold, Deputy Leader of the Council, and Chair of the Grants Working Party said: “It’s our key aim to support the citizens of Ryedale, especially those whose lives and livelihoods are most at risk as a result of COVID-19. We’re in this together – that’s why it’s important to support such charitable organisations to adapt their services and help those in need.”

In order to qualify for a grant, the groups had to meet a number of criteria:

  • Be a community, voluntary or charitable organisation, based in Ryedale
  • Provide a service to vulnerable Ryedale residents or residents who have special needs, or provide services that help to keep communities safe and healthy
  • Be currently active and operational
  • Hold less than £10k in free reserves at the time of application

Ryedale District Council streamlined the application and appraisal process to reduce the red-tape as much as possible, ensuring a quick turnaround with the decisions.  The council is still open to receive more applications from eligible organisations.

Ryedale Community Transport

Offers affordable transport solutions to rurally isolated communities, groups and individuals with special transport needs, for example those with mobility issues, the elderly and young people accessing training, education and jobs. During COVID-19, the organisation has provided essential travel for the elderly or vulnerable, mopeds for key workers, transport for two local doctor’s surgeries and people referred to them by the NHS Hospital Trust. They’ve kitted out their vehicles with protective shields, provided staff with the necessary protective equipment and bought a specialist chemical cleaning spray. The £4k grant will enable them to carry out a daily deep clean regime of their vehicles from now on and to employ extra staff to do this.

Ken Gill, Chief Officer at Ryedale Community Transport said: “We’re delighted to receive the grant from Ryedale District Council. It’s taken a huge weight off our shoulders - COVID-19 has had an impact on us financially and we’ll need to look at this in the longer term. In the short-term, it’s taken some of the pain out of the costs associated with the deep cleaning, which is what’s needed to look after our clients and staff, because that’s what we do as a charity. It’s really wonderful news.”

Ryedale Special Families

Supports families of children and young people with disabilities, additional needs and illness. Under normal circumstances, the charity offers family activities throughout the year, to reduce isolation and to support the whole family. It also offers specialist social groups, flexible care for the most complex and vulnerable children and young people, as well as advice and guidance. COVID-19 has stopped most of the support services and key fundraising activities. The £4k grant awarded will help the charity continue to support its families by regular telephone contact, 1:1 support work for the most complex and vulnerable, video messaging and the collection of prescriptions and shopping. It will also help the charity move to the next stage, with the gradual resumption of its usual services.

Lisa Keenan, Chief Officer of Ryedale Special Families said: “This grant has come at a really crucial time. Our income has changed quite drastically and the impact will last for the rest of the year. We can use the grant to continue our core work and help families in a number of different ways. It’s helping us to look at the next stage of our work and what our services will look like.”

Next Steps Mental Health

Mental Health Support helps nearly 300 people by phone, daily, seven days per week. People who access the service are those suffering with mental health conditions, the elderly, vulnerable, those who feel isolated, or lonely, and adults with learning disabilities. Mental Health Support deliver services based around a café-style support centre. Services include benefits advice, signposting to services, Zoom meetings, training and work support, baking, walking, arts and crafts, 1-1 support and shopping with the help of 60 volunteers. Since the lockdown has lifted, they’ve been visiting their members, or going for walks with them at a safe distance.  When their café in Norton can re-open, they’ll be offering 1-1 support for those in need, with a number of social distancing measures in place. The £4k grant will support the running of these services.

Leisa Burniston, Service Manager said:  “Throughout the pandemic our services have had to change dramatically to support people of Ryedale who are isolated, lonely and who suffer from mental health issues. We have had a huge hit financially due to no income through our community cafes and groups. The grant from Ryedale District Council is literally a lifeline for us to continue to support people in these difficult times, without grants like this we would cease to continue helping those that are most vulnerable.”

For more information on the Emergency Grant Fund visit:  www.ryedale.gov.uk/EGF