£96,903 grant will pay for community champions to help at-risk groups

£96,903 of government funding will be used to recruit and train up to 10 Fenland community champions.

£96,903 of government funding will be used to recruit and train up to 10 Fenland community champions. - Credit: FDC

£96,903 of funding will be used to recruit and train up to 10 Fenland community champions who will deliver language and translation support for groups most at risk of Covid-19's long-term economic effects.

Fenland District Council received the grant as part of the Government’s £25 million community champions scheme, which has been divided between 60 councils and voluntary groups across England which aims to reach older people, disabled people, and people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The different Fenland communities that will be supported through the work include Gypsy, Roma, Traveller, people with learning/physical disabilities, as well as faith groups.

The community champions being drawn from these groups will share accurate health information with their neighbours, networks, and wider community.

The programme will also include phone calls for people who are digitally excluded, as well as the delivery of food and medical supplies to harder to reach communities.

The council says the aim of the community champions will be to "reflect the different community languages spoken in the area. 

"They will work with the council and voluntary and community partners to enhance communications with these groups and deliver outreach support across the district".

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The funding will also help to tackle misinformation about the virus and the Covid-19 vaccination in these groups to help ensure they stay well-informed.

According to government evidence, these groups of people are more likely to suffer long-term impacts and poor outcomes from Covid-19.

Cllr Andrew Lynn, the council’s portfolio holder responsible for community safety, said: “As the pandemic has progressed, we have  learned more about its impact on communities and worked hard to ensure that our outreach work, engagement and communications regarding COVID-19 are appropriate to our communities and reach those most at risk from the virus.

“There are many more initiatives that we would like to develop and accelerate, so I’m delighted that we’ve been able to secure this funding to help make this possible. 

"It will make a huge difference to our communities, ensuring we can continue to engage and support our most vulnerable residents during this challenging time, and in the future.”

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP xaid: “It is vital that everyone has access to accurate and up to date information about COVID-19. False information about COVID-19 vaccines could cost lives. 

"This funding will help councils and community groups expand some of the excellent work already underway and reach out to their communities to ensure they have the information they need and get their questions answered. Ultimately, this funding will help save lives.”