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Gloucestershire Business News

Fund steps in to help local organisations cope with Covid

The Commissioner's Fund, established by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl, has stepped in to help a number of local organisations cope with Covid.

The fund, which allocates 1% of the overall policing budget to support crime reduction and community safety initiatives in Gloucestershire, also had to adapt to meet unforeseen circumstances.

Funding regulations were eased, payments were accelerated, reporting timetables were relaxed and projects were allowed to use funding for core business.

Projects that benefited included:

  • Gloucester Bike Project - funding towards the 'Gift a bike scheme' for key workers during Lockdown when public transport was difficult
  • Fair Shares & Friendship café - establishing a telephone helpline, prioritising shopping, pet food and emergency supplies
  • GL11Community Hub - creating a community response delivery service for the most vulnerable
  • Stroud Valleys Project - created a wildlife spotting website as an add-on to lockdown's daily exercise
  • Your next move - created a series of online classes and instructional videos, available free of charge.

PCC Martin Surl said: "The Commissioner's Fund's recipients must meet strict conditions to qualify for funding and these are closely monitored throughout the term of the grant.

"In light of the constantly changing consequences of the pandemic, my office decided very early that we had to be flexible so that rules that are designed to give local organisations stability didn't result in extra strain that might have seen them go under.

"We also took time to find out the impact of COVID on each of our projects by asking questions about how they were operating differently, what they thought the future might hold and if there was anything else the OPCC could do in order to fulfil our commitment to them".

In 2020/21, 100 Projects received a total of £1,187,317 from the Commissioner's Fund.

In addition, as part of the Commissioner's Fund contribution to Gloucestershire Funders, a group created specifically to support local groups and charities during the pandemic, a further 10 projects received £22,500 from the fund.

Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) have also been offered an additional £15k on top of the £15k they are currently receiving in 20/21 to be used for local crime reduction and community safety initiatives, which contribute to the delivery of the Police & Crime Plan through the Safer Gloucestershire partnership.

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