Praise for community's reaction to lockdown sparks call for cash - The Solihull Observer

Praise for community's reaction to lockdown sparks call for cash

Solihull Editorial 21st Jan, 2021 Updated: 21st Jan, 2021   0

THE West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is calling on the Government for £11million to support the work of grassroots groups who have been praised for their work throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

It follows the launch of a new report which highlights how community, voluntary and faith groups in the West Midlands stepped up to support communities and people in need during the first Covid lockdown.

The WMCA commissioned the report to find out more about the ways these groups acted in response to the pandemic earlier last year, to inform possible initiatives in the future.

The document, Innovation and Enterprise Across The Social Economy in Recovery from Covid-19, was launched at a roundtable meeting earlier this week.

The event was hosted by the West Midlands Combined Authority Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, and welcomed a wide range of local representatives, as well as Danny Kruger MP, who completed a national review of community spirit during lockdown on behalf of the Prime Minister in September 2020.

Mr Street said: “During the first lockdown the West Midlands saw an incredible response from community, faith and other groups of volunteers.

“Without their contribution to the collective and urgent response to the crisis, the health and economic devastation would arguably have been far worse and the impact on public finances more severe.

“This new report not only sets out this phenomenal community response, but also what steps now need to be taken to continue this great work and harness the brilliance of voluntary groups and organisations.

“I am pleased I was able to present this report and the region’s case to Government, and I know Danny Kruger was left very impressed by the work going on in the West Midlands.”

The call for extra money is for a community resilience fund which is based on the principles of Danny Kruger’s report and was proposed in the WMCA’s comprehensive spending review submission.

The £11million would be used to support the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise organisations to support the most vulnerable in communities.

Mr Kruger said: “The findings from my report to the Prime Minister were absolutely clear; community spirit has risen to the challenge of this pandemic and the response of individuals, voluntary groups and socially minded businesses, has been absolutely phenomenal.

“This report demonstrates how impressively local organisations have stepped forward in the West Midlands, and provides us with invaluable insights into how we can take that work forwards to create a new and better world.”


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