£750,000 distributed to Sheffield community groups during the Covid-19 pandemic

14th March 2022

Community groups in Sheffield received over £750,000 to help them deliver vital services and support during the Covid-19 pandemic, in a new report published by South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF).

Grants of up to £5,000 were distributed to 180 community groups as the pandemic began in March 2020, with SYCF initiating a host of changes to their grants processes to make sure funds were distributed swiftly in those exceptional times.

This resulted in communities across Sheffield receiving invaluable help with 168,554 people being supported through the amazing commitment of over 5,665 volunteers, with 45 of the total funding given to groups advancing people's physical and mental health, wellbeing and safety.

The SYCF Covid-19 Response Awards and the Response and Recovery Awards allowed community organisations to support people with their mental health, addressing social isolation and providing information and advice, which was particularly important in sharing public health messages.

South Yorkshire’s Chief Executive Ruth E Willis, said:

“As a grant giving organisation in a national emergency, we understood the need to distribute funds smoothly and allow community groups to start their activities such as delivering food parcels, picking up prescriptions, and I.T equipment for young people to continue their studies.”

Activities carried out by community groups included befriending services so people self-isolating had regular contact, activity packs and outdoor activities for children, provision and delivery of food parcels and NHS workers receiving free transport to and from work. 

Globalmama Enterprises Ltd cooked and delivered over 3,000 meals to their Somalian and refugee community in Sheffield, helping people with their laundry and setting up WhatsApp groups to share Covid-19 guidelines.

Amina Souleiman, Globalmama Enterprises Ltd secretary, said:

“'The funding we received from South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation provided us with the opportunity to provide much needed support to vulnerable members of our community at a difficult time.  Many elderly, disabled and sick members of the BAME and refugee community needed help with their shopping, laundry and at least one hot meal a day, as they couldn’t go out due to shielding.

“The funding also enabled us to deliver activities and spread information via Zoom and WhatsApp, increasing our reach and impact significantly, and giving us valuable tools for the future.”

Over 60 of our Response and Recovery grants were distributed to organisations supporting Black, Asian and other minoritised communities, to reflect the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 they experienced. There were also webinars that were delivered to encourage applications from diverse communities.

“The societal impact of Covid-19 has been demonstrated in the Vital Signs 2021 report, which shows the ever more importance of community groups to provide a lifelife for communities across South Yorkshire,” said Chris Booth-Mayblin, chair of SYCF.

SYCF’s Vital Signs 2021 report, through official data and community feedback, identified Crime and Safety, Disadvantage and Inequality, Work and the Local Economy, and Mental Health, as the four most important needs in South Yorkshire.

Unemployment while young is linked to long-term reductions in wages, increased chances of subsequent periods of unemployment, and poorer health outcomes. Vital Signs led to the launch of a themed programme, called “Moving On Up”, allowing community groups to support young people with pre-employment skills and employability opportunities. 

The full report is available at www.sycf.org.uk/covid19grantsreport 

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