Community’s pandemic response receives University support
Projects supporting those most severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas have been awarded funding from the University of Edinburgh.
Awards of £5000 – from the University’s Community Grants Scheme – have been made to projects that aim to deliver thousands of free meals, provide music therapy workshops for unpaid carers, deliver computers to vulnerable families, and provide isolation and mental health support networks.
The Venchie Children & Young People’s Project is one recipient of the fund. Set up to provide children and young people with a range of play, recreation and issue-based youth work, they now offer an emergency food service to families in Craigmillar, cooking and delivering 600 meals a day, six days a week.
Carers of East Lothian (CoEL) have also received an award. The group offer music therapy workshops for unpaid carers, and provide a safe and supportive social environment in which they can relax.
CoEL focuses on supporting carers so that they can continue to care for others, providing all types of advice for those who deal with the physical and emotional demands of caring for someone on a full time basis.
The Community Grants Scheme is part of the University’s wider strategy to make a positive social impact locally through connecting staff and students with opportunities to volunteer for grass-roots projects and widening access to formal and informal learning opportunities.
Donors can add to the University’s grant scheme for community groups, enabling the initiative to expand to support even more social enterprises and charities working with those affected by the pandemic.
By pledging support for the Covid-19 Partnerships Fund, donors will be helping to protect front-line workers, enhancing the research response and supporting vulnerable groups in the community.
Susan Heron, Manager of Venchie Children and Young People’s Project, said: “ When lockdown was announced we identified a huge need for an emergency food delivery service in localities in Edinburgh. Through help from the University we’ve been able to address the need.”
The University of Edinburgh’s Principal, Professor Peter Mathieson, said: “ In such difficult times, universities have a crucial role to play in offering hope through new research, clarity by sharing of expert information and direct contributions in offering support for the communities to which we belong.
“Our University community has shown resilience, determination and compassion as the pandemic has unfolded. The Covid-19 Partnerships Fund will help us to build even stronger partnerships for impact across local and global communities which have been most affected. This reflects our overall vision to make the world a better place: it is urgent that we find solutions to combat the medical, social and economic consequences of this virus.”