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Source: Northern Ireland – City of Derry

27 November 2020

A series of Covid-19 Community Recovery plans targeting need in each of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s eight Local Community Growth Partnership areas, has been given approval at a meeting of Full Council last night.

The plans have been drawn up by the Local Community Growth Partnership Boards following the announcement of additional finance awarded to Council from the Voluntary Community Division of the Department for Communities through its Community Support Programme.

Each of the seven DEAs and Strabane Town have been allocated £20,000 from a pot of £160,000 to develop a specially tailored Community Recovery Plan. The bespoke strategies detail a wide range of services and interventions that will continue to support local people through the ongoing Covid crisis.

Local Community and Voluntary Organisations have had a pivotal role in coordinating vital support on the ground and directing it to where it’s been most needed since the pandemic began in March. Following the initial emergency response, the Local Community Growth Partnerships have now had time to review and develop the services most in demand in their own areas.

The additional community support will enable the Partnerships to strengthen and sustain these services, ensuring they can continue to promote recovery and target those most in need in a more effective way.

The plans were already given the go ahead by Council’s Health and Community meeting earlier in the month when Members heard that the plans would tackle major issues including food poverty, isolation, bereavement, and unemployment. The funding will go towards equipment for local groups to help them deliver services more effectively, as well as training, staff, and digital services to assist the wider community in accessing services. It will also assist with the delivery of support packs, community events, classes and workshops for the public.

Members acknowledged the work that has gone into creating the recovery plans, and praised the Local Community Growth Partnerships for their role in bringing local communities through the Covid Crisis.

Council’s Head of Health and Community, Karen McFarland, said it was vital that support for local communities continued in the weeks and months to come. “Since March the Local Community Growth Partnerships have worked closely with Council’s Community Development team to deliver the response to Covid-19. Their proactive work and their resilience throughout this very difficult time, has undoubtedly sustained communities and brought them through the worst period of uncertainty and need. As we look to the future we need to recognise that there are still challenging times ahead and there are many more local people in need of assistance.

“I would like to thank the Department for their ongoing support. It’s essential that our community partners continue to be equipped with the necessary resources to respond and adapt to the challenges as they are presented. I also want to thank all our partners working so hard in all our communities across rural and urban areas providing advice, information, vital services and a listening ear to those most in need. Please keep up the good work!”

Letters of offer will now be issued in the coming weeks to each of the Lead Partners identified within the Community Recovery Plan for each DEA. An initial 50% will be paid in advance, with a further 30% following vouching of the first allocation and a final 20% on completion.  

MIL OSI United Kingdom