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Source: Aisle of Wight

21 Dec 2020

A financial boost of more than £34,000 has been distributed to local charities, community and voluntary groups to provide a helping hand to hundreds of Island families left struggling due to coronavirus.

The Isle of Wight Council is working hard to ensure funds available through the recently launched ‘connect4communities’ programme are distributed to where they are most needed as quickly as possible.

Seven applications have so far been considered and approved which will support around 1,000 Island families and vulnerable people facing hardship.

Among the first to receive funding is the Isle of Wight Community Rail Partnership, which was awarded £8,330 to provide meals to families and vulnerable individuals over the festive period and well into the new year.

Bobby Lock, community rail manager, said: “The difference this will make to people is immense.

“Our Food On The Move initiative ensures the most vulnerable on the Island do not go hungry during the Covid-19 crisis and has been one of the best things the Community Rail Partnership has achieved this year.

“I am incredibly moved by the support it’s had for these extremely vulnerable families and isolated individuals.”

More than £4,000 has been awarded to the YMCA to support young carers on the Island.

Emma Corina, director of strategic planning for YMCA, said: “Young carers and their families will receive dedicated financial help over this winter, with just over £4,000 allocated to YMCA for distribution.

“The charity has added £500 of its own fundraised money to the pot to provide 50 young carers with a voucher they can spend on food or gifts in time for Christmas.”

Connect4communities forms part of the council’s £456,845 Winter Grant Scheme, awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The programme builds on the council’s previously announced food voucher scheme, which will help feed children and young people including young carers and care leavers over the Christmas holiday fortnight.

Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, said it was clear the funding would make a huge difference to the lives of many Islanders.

He said: “I would remind everybody that connect4communities is not a hand-out, but a helping hand for Island families who are struggling to pay for basic essentials, like food and fuel to keep their homes warm.

“The aim is to support those in need, particularly during the school holidays, and help ensure vulnerable children and young people do not go without the necessities.

“I would encourage all our voluntary and third sector organisations, who know their communities best and are in the ideal position to provide support, to apply for grants via the website:

Other connect4communities awards so far include:

Sandown Bay Hub — £2,000

The grant will be used to provide hampers and vouchers to around 150 families in need.

Aspire Ryde — £14,490

The grant will support around 400 families, as well as individuals, with Christmas food hampers, bags of warmth and meals. The funding will also support the charity’s Free Food and Community Fridge project that offers supplies to vulnerable families and the homeless community.

Sandown Football Club — £1,000

The funding will be used to provide food parcels to local families and the elderly over Christmas. The scheme will support 120 families and 33 individuals.

Isle of Wight Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus — £4,580

The funding will be used to provide Christmas food hampers and utility bill and general financial support for around 12 families and ten individuals.

Breakfast in the Bay — £1,500

The funding will provide breakfast to school children and other projects to provide hampers of food and other essential items. Around 150 families will benefit.


  • Seven applications have so far been considered and approved which will support around 1,000 Island families and vulnerable people facing hardship.
  • Voluntary and third sector organisations are being urged to apply for grants via the website:

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