Council grant to support vital services in the North Cotswolds: cotswold friends transprot services

07 May 2020

Council grant to support vital services in the North Cotswolds

Cotswold Friends will receive £10,000 in grant funding to support the continued delivery of essential services for the most vulnerable in our district.

The Council has approved the grant as part of its Community Resilience Fund to support the voluntary sector in helping local communities through the current pandemic.

Cllr Jenny Forde, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The work of Cotswold Friends has always been important and now we appreciate what they do for our residents more than ever.  I’m so happy we are able to support their vital work with this grant.

“The Council’s resilience team is referring cases from the Gloucestershire Community Help Hub to Cotswold Friends for further support where people are being triaged and either given support directly by the charity or signposted to one of the amazing local support networks through the Help Hub.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all of our volunteers across the district that are supporting our local charities and helping to provide for those who need it most. You are amazing!”  

Cotswold Friends delivers services to older and vulnerable people in the North Cotswolds. Their services include community transport, befriending, carers respite and community activities. 

Like many other charities and organisations, Cotswold Friends have quickly adapted to the coronavirus pandemic. The charity made contact with all their clients during the first week and are coordinating support for the whole of the North Cotswold in partnership with local support groups and Parish Councils. 

In the first two weeks of this crisis, Cotswold Friends made and received over 5,000 telephone calls and emails with people asking for direct or local help. They have distributed 20,000 COVID-19 Help Cards to North Cotswold Communities, individual households and distribution points as well as offering befriending services over the phone.

Cotswold Friends have even taken on a new cohort of volunteers and implemented online training for them. 

Amanda Howard, CEO for Cotswold Friends, said: “I would like to thank the Council for their continued support throughout this crisis. We have been quick to adapt to working from home due to the procedures we have in place for adverse weather conditions. I’m proud to say we are now supporting over 2000 older and vulnerable people in the North Cotswolds with telephone befriending, shopping and meal deliveries, vital transport and additional support as needed. 

“Some of the biggest challenges throughout this crisis are loneliness and isolation and keeping connected with your community. We are always looking for volunteers and particularly in need of drivers to support our transport services as we look ahead.

“Please contact us if you need help or would like to volunteer. The North Cotswolds is a wonderful community and we will pull together to make this work!”

Funding is always a challenge and during the current crisis fundraising options are limited. If you would like to make a donation to Cotswold Friends, simply visit the website at www.cotswoldfriends.org and click on the Donate button in the top right-hand corner to start the donation process.

For more information about the Gloucestershire Community Help Help or to request support, please visit: https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/gloucestershires-community-help-hub/ 

Contact Information

For media enquiries, please contact the Communications Team

press@cotswold.gov.uk