Skip to main content

Community groups granted £100k to recover from Covid

17 February 2022
Young person on sofa with laptop

Over £100k has been awarded by the council to 14 local community groups to help them continue vital work to assist residents through the pandemic, such as mental health support for young people.

The approval of a total of £105,425 from the council’s Health Protection Board funding (allocated via Hertfordshire County Council) was made under a delegated decision in January.

The grant awards are as follows:

  • £7,195 to Rotary Club of Hitchin towards the Mental Health Recovery Team
  • £3,505 to Open Art Box CIC towards home art workshop packs for people living with dementia and their caregivers
  • £3,835 to North Hertfordshire Multiple Sclerosis towards purchase of food for meals, cooking equipment, books, crafts and funds to cover rent
  • £16,000 to The Bancroft Players towards resources and alterations to make the Queen Mother Theatre safe for visitors due to the pandemic
  • £4,000 to Groundwork East towards the cost of a one-off 'garden clearance' service for elderly / vulnerable residents
  • £20,000 to NESSie towards provision of mental health support to children and young people and their families in educational settings and the community
  • £9,500 to Imajica Theatre CIC towards a youth engagement project utilising videos and social media tools
  • £4,500 to Home-Start Royston, Buntingford and South Cambridgeshire to assist with annual rent costs
  • £8,192 to Tilehouse Counselling towards 16 more counselling sessions per week for teenagers
  • £12,280 to Create Community Network CIC towards careers advice and job search sessions
  • £4,078 to Baldock Arts and Heritage Centre towards sound and projector equipment, and film licenses to run film nights
  • £1,850 to Benslow Music Trust to help facilitate concerts and residential courses
  • £7,670 to Herts Disability Sports foundation (HDSF) towards a Learn to Ride bicycle course for children from disadvantaged areas
  • £2,819 to Phase Hitchin towards the recruitment of two mentors to help deal with the increased need for mental health support in Hitchin secondary schools.

Jeanette Thompson, Legal and Community Service Director, said: “Throughout the pandemic, community organisations have offered a lifeline by providing key services, to help residents get through the pandemic. The increase in demand for these services has led to higher running costs, while organisations have also been unable to carry out their usual fundraising activities, putting them under financial pressure. This money will be funding specific projects as well as building costs to help prevent closures and the council is really happy to be able to assist the community with this.”

James Newell from Groundwork said: “A messy and overgrown garden causes untold problems for residents who are unable to tend to it themselves. Rodent harbouring, increased risk of crime and the threat of eviction can all add to mental anguish for already vulnerable residents. A grant towards our Green Aider programme enables a skilled and background-checked adult to clear overgrown gardens, restoring access and dignity for those they help.”

Sam Hough, Artistic Director at Imajica Theatre Company, said: “We are excited to be able to give a voice to young people through this grant funding. The project will give young people the chance to create music videos to express themselves and will be involved in all elements from being on camera, directing and the editing process.” 

Sarah Mascall, Scheme Manager at Home-Start, said: “Our office is at the centre of all our family-support activities, providing an essential base for our volunteers, staff and trustees to meet, discuss and plan. We are so grateful to have received this funding, which will enable us to continue our support of local families going through tough times.”  

Sue Barnes, Director of Tilehouse Counselling, said: "Since the third lockdown we have been inundated with requests for counselling.  Sadly, the demand for mental health services for teenagers has more than doubled in the last year.  We remain wholeheartedly committed to keeping our service available so we are delighted to receive this funding towards providing 16 additional counselling sessions a week for teenagers.”