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£80,000 lotto boost for Telford voluntary partnership to help the most vulnerable

By Charlotte Bentley | Telford | Coronavirus | Published:

Four Telford volunteer organisations have been awarded more than £80,000 from the National Lottery to bolster a new partnership project aiming to help the most vulnerable across the borough.

Citizens Advice Telford and Wrekin, Telford Mind, Telford Crisis Support and Stay Telford, who have partnered on the Helping Hands out of Hardship project for over four years, have been awarded over £80,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, the voluntary and community sector have stepped up to the mark in supporting the most vulnerable within the community, despite losses they may have suffered from a lack of fundraising.

The Helping Hands partnership project aimed over thee years to help 4,500 people to resolve their immediate financial crisis by securing safety, food, shelter and warmth. Between them, the partnership in fact supported nearly 10,000 people, and it has also been partly responsible for accommodating more than 160 rough sleepers during the pandemic into emergency accommodation.

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Stay CEO Terry Gee said: "We are so pleased to have been awarded this further funding from the Government to strengthen the service that Helping Hands provides to people in crisis across Telford.

"The funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, will help us with bolstering the partnership with extra staffing hours and additional posts helping individuals access the benefits and services they are entitled to, and deal with the debt that has an impact on their lives.

"What can be most frustrating at times is seeing people not being able to access some of the services they need the most, such as substance misuse services, mental health services and voluntary sector services.

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"The pathways into them can be unclear for people in crisis, and their feelings of hopelessness and confidence can be so low that they can be quick to give up at the first hurdle. The Link workers will be there to listen to people’s concerns and support individuals to connect, navigate and broker into the services that they need, which could really improve their ability to move towards a brighter future."

One of the biggest challenges the partnership faced recently was supporting individuals who needed to access both statutory, voluntary and community sector services that have been reduced and underfunded.

As services reopen at different rates during the pandemic, and with many changes this has an impact on those who will be able to cope the least. So, with the funding provided, the partnership is looking to build up the Helping Hands team, including an additional Helping Hands worker to focus on supporting with financial crisis, and two new Link Workers, who’s roles will be to support individuals to navigate through the services they need, in order to move forward with their lives.

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at charlotte.bentley@shropshirestar.co.uk.

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