When the lockdown was declared in mid-March this year, Progress Housing Group earmarked a proportion of their annual Community Investment Fund (CIF) grant funding to be awarded and distributed to projects that would help our people in our local communities through coronavirus (Covid-19).

This was done as part of the Here to Help service launched to offer support to Progress tenants at this challenging time. Since then, we've awarded over £3,400 to seven groups providing services that will benefit communities and individuals in the areas that we have housing stock, with more applications currently being considered.

One of the recipients of the funding so far is the Community Network and Outreach Service, Leyland, a community organisation set up at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to deliver care and food packages directly to peoples' homes, who were identified as being vulnerable and who were unable to go out themselves safely during the lockdwn.

About our grant recipient, the Community Network and Outreach Service

The community care packages that the Community Network and Outreach Service provides mainly go to benefit those throughout the Leyland community who are shielding and self-isolating and need extra support.

The care packages are delivered directly to service-users' homes by a contactless method and this allows more vulnerable people to receive a variety of essentials whilst remaining safe at home.

Many of the community care recipients have either lost their support network or their independence for various reasons, and the support from the community network allows them to recieve the extra support they need, whether it be food, household items, toiletries or medical supplies. 

The group also supports other voluntary and community groups and charities in the local area, such as homelessness and domestic abuse support organisations, refuges and community centres who all often have vulnerable children, young people and families that they are working with who require extra support. 

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Frontline staff and keyworkers working out in the community such as district nurses, and those working in hospitals and hospices, have also been supported by the Community Network and Outreach Service, with 'thank you packs', 'staff care bags' and 'staff snack packs' donated from the group to those workers who are supporting the most vulnerable in the community.

And if all that isn't enough good work, the group have also been able to source and supply uniforms, toiletries, wash bags, and PPE/face shields to keyworker staff in hospitals, hospices, care homes, schools and prisons!

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Sophie Wilding, who founded and set up the group in record time to help during the COVID-19 crisis says, "I set up the Community Network and Outreach Service because I wanted to help people in my hometown who I knew would be struggling during the pandemic.

"So far we've supported over 3000 people and have over 1000 members of our Facebook group who are volunteering to help or who have donated to the group. As the pandemic continues, we're in the process of setting up a sustainable outreach service and we have a new wesbite for the group at www.communitynetworkleyland.com

"Along with all the wonderful help from volunteers in South Ribble who are giving their precious time so freely to help others, the funding from local organisations and businesses such as Progress Housing Group has been instrumental in setting up the group and maintaining supplies, enabling us to provide care packages throughout the whole of the lockdown.

"The funds from Progress Housing have been used to purchase the non-perishable items that we usually don't get donated. Initially, in the early days, it was quite difficult to source many things, not only because we were a new group, but also because many other longer-established services had also seen massive demand placed upon them.

"The grant has aided massively with this and has also given the group some recognition of its work - especially with us being so new, your grant has given us confidence that an established association like Progress Housing Group has the belief in what we are doing and not only considered our grant application but also awarded it. Thank you."

Diane Nash, Involvement Manager at Progress Housing Group, said "We're delighted to have provided a grant to the Community Network and Outreach Service in Leyland for the amazing work that they are doing in the South Ribble area to benefit those people who are most in need of that extra bit of support, or even a thoughtful thank you.

"If you think you might be eligible for a grant from our Community Involvement Fund, including for Emergency Community Support funding during COVID-19, please contact us at community@progressgroup.org.uk to find out more."

Community Network And Outreach Service 1Do you need to refer someone you know for help from the Community Network and Outreach Service?

You can find out more about Community Network and Outreach Service on their website at www.communitynetworkleyland.com, or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CNOSLeyland/ (links open in new windows).


How to apply for funding from Progress Housing Group to benefit your community

Apply for Progress Housing Group's Emergency Community Support funding

Please apply to our Community Investment Fund for Emergency Community Support funding. We have made it quick and easy to apply.

Application criteria:

  • Progress Housing Group has properties in the project area
  • Customers of Progress Housing Group will have the opportunity to benefit from the project
  • The project must have a positive effect on the community in general
  • Provide feedback regarding the project and the use of the funding will be passed back to Progress Housing Group following the completion of the project
  • All projects must be in line with current government policy, guidelines, and recommendations regarding the control of the virus.
  • Applications up to £500. (future applications can also be made).

Download the application form.

Applications will be reviewed on a case by case basis, so that funding, if granted, can be agreed and paid in a timely manner.

Please forward your completed application form to the Progress Involvement Team by emailing community@progressgroup.org.uk or email the team if you require any
further information.

You can also request a call back through webchat or Facebook messenger about this funding.

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