West Oxfordshire District Council has received £467,000 from Oxfordshire County Council as part of the Government’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) which is designed to support public health during the pandemic and is now using some funds to help innovative local organisations.
One organisation which received £20,000 of funding is The Help Hub based in Bladon.
Set up March 2020 by Ruth Chaloner, it provides help for those struggling to cope with access to 800 volunteers, all of whom are trained counsellors or therapists.
Now it is looking to refocus its efforts on young people in West Oxfordshire with the funding going towards the recruitment of a project manager.
Ruth said: “There is a real sense of urgency with mental health issues coming out of the pandemic. Young people are falling through the gap with support.
“We use volunteers to speak to people which can help prevent mental health issues from escalating.”
Another organisation which also received £20,000 is Assisting Parents With Children Affected by Mental Health (APCAM), based in Alvescot.
Led by volunteers, it offers support for families within group sessions, online and one to one as well as offering mental health first aid training.
COMF is designed to provide funding to local authorities in England to help reduce the spread of coronavirus, help people to stay well and support those most affected by the pandemic.
Cllr Merilyn Davies, Cabinet Member for Healthy Communities, said: “Lockdown and the implications of Covid-19 have had a massive impact on the health of our communities.
“Organisations such as these are playing a huge role in supporting our residents with physical and mental health issues caused by the pandemic and this funding will be crucial for their invaluable work as we continue to recover.”
Other recipients of funding are Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire, Reducing the Risk (domestic abuse) and Volunteer Link Up.