The Derry and Strabane PCSP has agreed advance funding of £16,000 to support community led responses to assist the most vulnerable as the Coronavirus pandemic continues.
This support builds on the work undertaken by Local Community Planning, Community Safety Forums/Teams, Neighbourhood Renewal Groups, rural networks and the community-based volunteer initiatives that have emerged over recent weeks.
The allocation by the PCSP has been welcomed by both the Department of Justice and NI Policing Board and will provide services to some of the most vulnerable and isolated in our community during these most difficult of times. THE PCSP funding is additional to the Resilience Support Programme agreed earlier in the week by Council, but will be allocated through the same mechanism to avoid duplication and confusion.
Council has now been able to offer an initial £17,000 for each of the District Electoral Areas to support local responses made up of £15,000 from Council with and additional £2,000 from the PCSP. It is anticipated that a further investment of £80,000 will be released on a rolling basis subject to need and the availability of other regional funds.
This support package will enable some groups to offer additional assistance within communities, including providing meals and essentials to those most in need, delivering a befriending service to those most isolated and looking after the physical and mental health of our young people.
Welcoming the support package, Councillor Sandra Duffy, Chair of the Derry and Strabane PCSP said: "I am delighted but not surprised to see the response from our community, where a network of vital services has been established quickly to meet the needs of our residents during these very difficult times. The people of this area are renowned for their generosity of spirit and I welcome the fact that our PCSP has responded quickly to support Council to provide a budget for the delivery of these essential services.
"It is positive to see so many people of all ages volunteering to ensure the wellbeing and safety of their neighbours and communities during this time.
"We are in very difficult circumstances with a rapidly changing situation and the PCSP will continue to work with all our partners to be proactive and responsive to the needs of our community by supporting the delivery of local solutions to local needs. We will do whatever we can to ensure our communities have the information, support and services to stay safe and well through these very challenging and frightening times."