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Health for All secures funding to help support local people through the Covid-19 pandemic

Leeds based charity Health for All which aims to help the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the city overcome the challenges of health inequality, poverty and isolation, has received a share of £9.5million of National Lottery funding to help recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The £100,000 grant has been awarded through the Covid-19 Community-Led Organisations Recovery Scheme (CCLORS). The scheme is led by independent trust Power to Change in partnership with Locality, The Ubele Initiative and Social Investment Business, and was part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund, that launched in May last year.

The grant will enable Health for All to install facilities within its Family and Community centres to address the food poverty, digital exclusion and unemployment faced by the local communities the charities serve.

The charity’s local centres will host a ‘Food for All Pantry’ space. Run by volunteers, local people will be able to access, for a small membership fee, a weekly shop of their choice. Each centre too will have an Access to IT point, providing free use of digital devices, internet access and support to improve digital skills to improve access to health, benefits, employment, training services. The centres will also provide a rolling programme of Training Courses to encourage and support local people to consider enterprise as an option.

Pat McGeever, Chief Executive of Health for All, said: “We discovered from our delivery of emergency food parcels and essential supplies during the lockdown the pressures experienced by so many local people to simply feed their families. The ‘Food for All Pantry’ initiative will provide a community led, empowering and sustainable answer to this. The Pantries do not aim to replace the crucial services of food banks but rather complement them, offering a progression for people to cooperate together to meet this urgent, ongoing need. Our delivery of numerous online courses, support and activity groups highlighted the digital exclusion many local people face due to low income, skills, poor digital access – hence our Local Access to IT initiative. We know that unemployment in the area has risen significantly. HFA have long supported local people to develop entrepreneurial skills and knowledge so the Enterprise offer is a logical progression in these times of increasing unemployment. This grant will transform the services our local centres can offer and change peoples lives”

In total, 302 community-led organisations have received a total of £9.5million through CCLORS to help recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The total includes 205 community organisations led by, or that support, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

Grants of up to £100,000 have been awarded to community-led organisations in England facing severe financial difficulties as a direct result of the coronavirus lockdown. It has helped them to launch health and wellbeing projects, develop digital education workshops and continue providing vital services for their communities.

“Whilst Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on people right across the country, it has disproportionately affected Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. By bringing together this strategic partnership, we’ve ensured this much-needed financial support is reaching those communities that need it most.” – Vidhya Alakeson, CEO of Power to Change

The first HFA Food for All Pantry will open soon in Cranmore and Raylands Community Centre in Belle Isle. Centre Manager Martin Brennan said “This is a really exciting venture that will definitely enhance what the Centre offers to local people. There’s been lots of interest so far and we’ re confident it will go from strength to strength”.

For more information, contact Martin on 07432 702911 email martin.brennan@healthforall.org.uk or Karen Hargreaves, HFA Food Pantry Coordinator on 07804 743826 karen.hargreaves@healthforall.org.uk.