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**The Covid-19 Fund is now closed to applications. We will be in touch shortly to those who have applied. For more information, please refer to the timeline listed below**

PCC launches Covid-19 Fund to provide support for young people during the outbreak

 

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has today (Wednesday 8 April 2020) launched a unique fund to help support young people, aged between 10 and 25, in Bedfordshire during the Covid-19
pandemic. 

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) is encouraging applications to the Covid-19 Fund which aim to provide arts and crafts, cooking lessons, health and fitness activities and advice or innovative educational support, but deliver them remotely to help occupy young people during the current period of social distancing and which provide the sort of activities they would want to have made available to them. 

“The idea behind this came from a brilliant Bedford-based group called Faces which asked middle school pupils in a school where more than 40 languages are spoken, before the pandemic, what sort of out of school activities they’d like to take part in. They gave answers from Pilates and Yoga to cookery. 

“During the current pandemic, we are asking young people to stay at home and away from their friends, to save lives. We must give them something to do to help support the national effort and prevent them from being drawn into either breaking the advice or less helpful activities at a time when those who distribute drugs, for example, are having a tough time getting their supplies out and may well prey on this age group to try to get them to do it for them.


“There’s also a real imperative to help with young people’s mental health during a time of deep disquiet and widespread anxiety,” said PCC Holloway.

The OPCC is also looking for organisations which may be able to support these remote sessions by providing packages with materials to help young people to be able to follow along. These packages would be distributed to those who are currently living away from home, without most of their belongings, for example as a result of leaving a home where there has been Domestic Abuse. A Just Giving page has been set up (www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Bedfordshirecovid-19fund) to allow members of the public or local businesses to donate which will provide the contents, including bakery and general cookery utensils, arts and crafts materials or exercise mats. 

“We want to reach children who need our support most and helping to provide these sorts of goods to allow them to join in with online activities also allows families in particular need to make the most of an otherwise very difficult period,” said the PCC.

“By paying for online activities and providing the goods to support them before September, I am trying to do something which is both fun and constructive for our young people at risk which will can cover either the lockdown or school summer holidays, depending on how the next few weeks play out.

“I am aware that Bedfordshire’s hugely generous residents and some of our charitable partners have established funds to help those in need as a result of the pandemic and I very much hope that they will wish to support this project,” she said.


Due to the emerging need to provide support during this crisis, the Covid-19 Fund will be open to applications for two weeks, closing at 9:30am on Wednesday 22 April 2020. This will enable the OPCC to allocate funds to successful applicants so they can provide support and start producing content as soon as possible.

 

Covid-19 Fund Schedule Date (2020)
Launch Covid-19 Fund Wednesday 8thApril
Application process closes 22nd  April 09:30
Applications reviewed from After 09:30 on April 22nd
Successful applicants contacted From the 23rd April
Funds distributed Start of May and must be utilised by September


Any funds allocated to organisations or charities will need to be spent between May and September 2020. Applications need to comply with the Government’s Covid-19 measures around social distancing. For more information and to apply, please download the Bedfordshire OPCC Covid-19 Fund Application Form and send it via email to PCC-Commissioning@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk by 9:30am on Wednesday 22 April 2020.