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Funding for community groups extended by twelve months

Lewisham Council have announced the extension of funding to eight community organisations.

Under the Main Grants programme, the Council funds organisations which have been doing exceptional work within the community to empower residents. The addition of over £155,000 will provide another year of support for eight organisations.

The funding, which has been extended until 31 March 2022, is in recognition of the work the organisations have done to support Lewisham residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The additional funding will help support groups which have had to adapt their services due to the impact of the pandemic and national restrictions.

Councillor Jonathan Slater, Cabinet Member for the Community Sector, said:

“I’m really proud of the fantastic work these organisations are doing in the community and it’s commendable how they have adapted their services to respond to COVID-19.

I’m pleased that the Main Grants have been extended for another year and that the organisations can now work towards fulfilling the plans they originally put forward in their proposals, but were disrupted as a result of the pandemic.”

One of the eight organisations which will receive funding from the council is Lewisham Refugee Welcome. The organisation provides support and assistance to refugees and their families including befriending, English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) services and volunteering opportunities, to help people to settle into their new home and community.

During the pandemic, Lewisham Refugee Welcome adapted their services to ensure that families were not isolated during lockdowns. The support they provided included; arranging Wi-Fi to enable access to essentials such as online education, foodbank parcels and education packs, and online catch-ups with individuals and families to ensure they were not isolated.

Karen from Lewisham Refugee Welcome said:

“We are delighted that Lewisham Council has extended our grant funding for another twelve months. Our volunteers work so hard to provide support for resettled refugee families, but the challenges of the last year changed our priorities as we focused on basic needs such as food parcels, access to Wi-Fi and educational support for children. This extra funding will allow us to get back to what we do best - building friendships to help refugees feel welcome and at home in our fantastic borough.”

The seven other organisations which will receive funding are:

The Millwall Community Trust which delivers free activities for both children and adults with the aim to reduce youth violence, knife crime and anti-social behaviour. The trust have adapted their activities during the pandemic to support young people issues such as social isolation, health and well-being and employment opportunities.

London Sport believes that physical activity and sport has the ability to change lives for the better and wants to utilise physical activity to help all Londoners live happier, healthier lives. London Sport’s Boxing Development Officer aims to increase mass participation in boxing as a recreational tool to increase the health and wellbeing of participants. During lockdown he has delivered online mental health and anti-racism workshops to boxing coaches.

London Thunder Basketball offer a range of basketball activities to improve fitness, health and well-being and adapted their activities during the pandemic to take place remotely.

The Front Room Club, St Luke’s Church, Downham is a cafe style drop in for those who are experiencing or at risk of social isolation and provides a safe, welcoming and supportive place to meet and talk. During the pandemic, the team have been providing food and activity parcels to local residents.

Platform Cricket provides children with the opportunity to participate, learn new skills, compete and meet new people in the area. During the pandemic additional programmes have been delivered during school holidays to support local children.

Wheels for Wellbeing provide inclusive cycling activities and during the pandemic they quickly repurposed their services to provide vital community support. These services included befriending services and medication and food delivery to elderly and isolated residents.

The Grove Centre in Sydenham provides a Coffee Bar and Lunch services Monday to Friday for elderly members of the local community and during the pandemic their service was adapted to provide a food delivery service.

The decision to extend the funding was taken at a meeting of Mayor and Cabinet on 10 March. Find further details on the Main Extension Grants.

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