Devon County Council is launching a new fund to help community organisations provide practical, social and emotional support to Devon residents self-isolating due to COVID-19.
The grants of up to £5,000 for small projects and £20,000 for larger projects can be used to help those self-isolating with any caring responsibilities; accessing food and other supplies; practical tasks such as dog walking; and mental health and wellbeing support to address things like loneliness and boredom.
Groups can also use the money to improve their community’s awareness and understanding of the government’s self-isolation rules, including when you need to self-isolate, how long for, what it involves and why it is a vitally important part of slowing the spread of COVID-19, as well as what support is available.
Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said:
“Community organisations have been a vital partner in ensuring support reaches those who need it most during the COVID-19 pandemic and their role continues to be significant.
“The coming months are often a challenging times for people health wise, with an increase in seasonal illnesses such as common colds and flu, and this winter could be particularly difficult due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.
“The legal requirement to self-isolate for ten days if you test positive for coronavirus, or you are an unvaccinated contact of someone who does, remains a critical part of breaking the chains of transmission by preventing those who are infected from mixing others and passing on the virus.
“But not leaving your house, even for food or exercise, and avoiding all contact with other people, is hard and will continue to disrupt our lives for some time.
“So it’s important that we provide this financial support to the organisations that are doing innovative and inspiring work to reach people within their communities, particularly the most vulnerable, and help them to remain well-connected and resilient as we face the challenge of managing coronavirus over the winter.”
To help ensure vital support reaches those who need it most, the council has identified particular communities that could be prioritised, including areas of socio-economic deprivation; multi-generational and high occupancy households and occupations with high COVID-19 exposure risk as well as Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, certain religions, faiths and nationalities linked to increased risk and people with disabilities or impairments.
They are also keen to focus funding on under-represented communities such as LGBQ+ and trans or non-binary gender, Gypsy, Roma and Travellers, migrants, asylum seekers and refugees and people with dependencies on drugs or alcohol in contact with services or experiencing homelessness and rough sleepers.
Applications will be accepted from constituted and not-for-private-profit voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector groups and organisations, town and parish councils, charities, very small groups who have no independent bank account (who have an eligible sponsor) or a combination of such groups working together. Devon County Council is working in partnership with Devon Communities Together and the wider voluntary and community sector to support community groups wishing to access this fund.
At least 75 per cent of the beneficiaries of the project or service must be within the Devon County Council administrative area.
For more information about the COVID-19 Outbreak Management Grant, including how to apply, please visit