A pot of £43,750 has been divided between voluntary organisations in Dorset which help people struggling with money, schemes which strengthen communities, green recovery initiatives and projects to enhance nature and wildlife.
The money comes from The Wessex Water Recovery Fund which is part of the Wessex Water Foundation, a multi-million pound initiative launched last June. The funding is distributed through the Dorset Community Foundation.
Among the 22 recipients is Home-Start South East Dorset, which received £2,400 to help it support families in the Bournemouth area.
Fundraiser Sally Smith said, “Our project will support disadvantaged families with young children adversely affected by Covid-19 who are struggling to cope with financial hardship, mental health difficulties and isolation.”
Volunteers will offer parents weekly support for six months by phone, while Covid restrictions apply, to talk about the pressures they face, discuss coping strategies and signpost them to other help.
“Families can also join one of our weekly family groups on Zoom or one of the Wellness Walks and access to join WhatsApp group where parents can talk and we will share daily posts with activities, advice, music and meditation,” said Mrs Smith.
In Jolly Good Company received £720 to set up a new dementia friendly gardening group in Blandford, working with Dementia Friendly Blandford and the town council. Staff member Sarah Rampton said the charity plans to run two groups a month. “We have been asked by the town council if we can help to maintain and improve the sensory garden in the Woodhouse Gardens,” she said.
Dorset Polish Centre received £2,479 to help members of its community affected by the pandemic to rebuild their lives.
Eva Zabarylo, chairman of the group based in Bsocombe Road, Bournemouth, said, “Many have lost their jobs as a result of the health crisis, and improved levels of English are vital to succeed in the jobs market.”
The group plans to use the grant for English lessons and training in IT and business skills as well as support with Universal Credit applications from a bi-lingual accountant.
The Dorchester Trust for Counselling and Psychotherapy was awarded £2,000 to fund sessions with key workers suffering from stress and anxiety brought about by the pandemic. The trust, in Colliton Street, said it has counselled 35 key workers since the start of the crisis, with demand still rising.
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