National Coalfields Day

The 29th November 2020 is National Coalfields Day and this year we will mark the day by acknowledging the amazing work being delivered by projects in our coalfield communities.

The impact of Covid-19 has been devastating in so many ways and organisations, who provide vital support for people in crisis, had to adapt to meet increased demand. To help respond, our teams across the UK coalfields have developed new ways of supporting organisations and individuals in these difficult times.

In England, we launched The Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Fund to provide grants up to £10,000 for activities that supported the most vulnerable and helped organisations adapt their services. This was followed by the launch of our Coalfields Food Insecurity Fund awarding vouchers for a major food surplus retailer to projects tackling food poverty.

We experienced unprecedented demand and were able to boost our support following a successful application to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) Community Match Challenge fund – #CommunitiesCan. The £1 million secured from DCMS is matched by £1 million of our funds and this has helped us scale up the investment we can make in Covid responses.

To date we have made over 100 grant awards and, in recognition of #National Coalfields Day, will be posting tweets showcasing these projects every day over the next 100 days. The following projects reflect the diversity of need in our communities and we are very proud to give them our support.

Wansbeck Valley Food Bank in the North East received £10,000 to tackle food poverty, enable them to operate safely during Covid-19 and continue to meet the need for food bank support in their community.

An organisation tackling the mental health issues that COVID-19 has caused is Active Regen Community Foundation Ltd based in Yorkshire. Their project was awarded £10,000 to deliver free weekly health improvement sessions for those with physical and mental health conditions.

Unemployment is a huge issue in many of our coalfield communities and has exacerbated by the pandemic. Derbyshire Unemployed Workers’ Centres were awarded £9,747 to provide information and advice to unemployed people and those at risk of unemployment during these difficult times.

Just Family CIC from Stoke received £9,700 for a support worker for 6 months to support families with complex needs including mental health issues, parent/child attachment and relationship breakdowns.

Some projects needed to adapt their buildings and the Hallgate House Project received £10,000 to provide a safe environment for their users in Wigan in compliance with government guidelines.

#NationalCoalfieldsDay is an opportunity to reflect on the difference being made by individuals and community organisations across the coalfields and we would like to thank them for their incredible efforts. So check our tweets to hear about the many other projects we have been able to support.

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