Words by Steve Sharma
Grants are now available to Erdington organisations delivering COVID-19 support services for older residents.
As the pandemic continues to impact life across the constituency, the Erdington Neighbourhood Network Scheme (NNS) is calling out to groups who could provide vital services for the over-50s.
To apply for funding, which can range from micro grants of up to £2000 and up to £10000 for larger projects, organisations are being asked to contact one of two local community service organisations – acting as gatekeepers for the wider Erdington NNS.
If based in Perry Common, Kingstanding, Erdington or Stockland Green, groups should contact Witton Lodge Community Association – based at Perry Common Community Hall.
Whilst groups working in Castle Vale, Pype Hayes, Gravelly Hill or again Stockland Green, should contact Compass Support – the charitable arm of The Pioneer Group, based in Castle Vale.
Since the launch of Erdington NNS in September 2019, more than a dozen groups have received funding to deliver activities and provision – helping reduce isolation and boost wellbeing among the district’s older generation.
But with the social distancing regulations imposed around coronavirus, as many venues that house social engagement and group activities close their doors due to the pandemic, there is concern that residents who are vulnerable and in need of help are not being reached.
“Groups are invited to apply for funding to establish activities and support services which benefit the health and wellbeing of older people living in Erdington,” explains Debbie Bates, Health and Wellbeing Lead at Witton Lodge Community Association. “In addition to these services, gaps have been identified in activities and provision in a few specific areas where urgent support is needed.
“We are appealing for organisations who could deliver COVID-19 support services and invite organisations who are able to help, to get in contact and apply.”
Addressing a range of social and care concerns for older residents, the Erdington NNS funding wants to support groups who challenge issues including health, wellbeing, bereavement, and domestic violence – alongside anti-social behaviour and the effect it can have on the wider community.
“People can become isolated in many ways,” explains Sarah Powers, Health & Wellbeing Team Leader at Compass Support, part of The Pioneer Group, “it could be through the loss of a spouse, declining health, illness, disability or caring responsibilities, discrimination, prejudice and cultural isolation. We understand that chronic loneliness is not only horrible to experience day in, day out, but left unaddressed it can have a devastating effect on a person’s health and wellbeing.
“This grant is a fantastic opportunity to better connect people and deliver meaningful outcomes to older, local residents. Whether the project provides access to emotional support or community engagement, all bids are welcome to help people aged 50+ to lead independent, happy and healthy lives.”
To find out more about the Erdington Neighbourhood Network Scheme (NNS), visit https://wittonlodge.org.uk/new-network-scheme-boosts-erdington-residents/
If you run a group in Perry Common, Kingstanding, Erdington or Stockland Green, and want to apply for funding from the Erdington NNS, please email Debbie.firstname.lastname@example.org
If you run a group in Castle Vale, Pype Hayes, Gravelly Hill or Stockland Green, please email: Donna.email@example.com