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South Holland groups helped through Covid-19 pandemic thanks to grants from Lincolnshire fund

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A new report has demonstrated the positive impact a community group has had in helping our area cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 300 companies have been helped by financial grants from the Lincolnshire Covid-19 Crisis Fund.

This cash has targeted areas such as mental health and wellbeing, ill health, food supplies, digital inclusion and loneliness.

Tonic Health Clinic staff at an earlier event
Tonic Health Clinic staff at an earlier event

The Lincolnshire Community Foundation also used ‘social value’ calculations to determine that every £1 they have invested has brought about a ‘social return’ of £12.

Paula Baumber, chair of the foundation, said: “The team have worked incredibly hard to ensure funds were targeted where they were needed most, supporting many new mutual aid groups that came together to help their neighbours at a time of crisis.

“The use of local intelligence and data made sure this happened and created a positive impact, reducing the pressure on the resources of our precious NHS and ultimately saving lives, ensuring people were kept safe, well and engaged throughout three lockdowns.”

Long Sutton Outreach Group received a grant of £1000 as part of the programme.

It allowed them to pay for tablets for members of their dementia support group, meaning they could set up WhatsApp accounts for them and keep in close contact.

Chairperson Dee Leech said this was of vital importance to the group, adding: “This really helped us to reduce loneliness and isolation during lockdowns.”

“It meant people still felt as though they’re part of a family. They could decide who to talk to themselves, even if they couldn’t see them in person.

“Dementia isn’t an easy thing to cope with.

“This allowed them to live a life without four walls.

“I was so surprised when we got the grant. It was really kind of them.”

Kenny Woods (40), who heads up digital inclusion for Spalding wellbeing hub Tonic Health, was equally as pleased to receive the funds.

“The funds helped us to buy around 20 or 30 tablets for people,” he said.

“With people affected by the pandemic, rural areas are at risk of being left behind the curve with technology.

“It’s an interesting thing to be involved in. By spending around £200 on each person, we’re hoping it can be transformational.”

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