Malmesbury Parish Council continues its coronavirus response with help from SSEN funding

Over 4,000 ready meals, numerous shopping orders and more than 40 laptops are just some of the items Malmesbury Parish Council has been able to deliver to its local community during lockdown, thanks to support from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN).

 

In March, SSEN repurposed its Resilient Communities Fund (RCF) making £320,000 available to support local efforts to help those most vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic. Malmesbury Parish Council successfully applied for £3,000 to enable their hundred-strong volunteer team to deliver essential food supplies and prescription medication to those isolating or shielding. 

In addition to helping vulnerable local residents to remotely complete online shopping orders, the team continue to co-ordinate medical orders and deliveries to assisted living homes, arrange ‘click and collect’ orders and support positive mental health outcomes through their phone calls that provide a friendly voice to those in isolation. 

Town Clerk of Malmesbury Parish Council, Richard Spencer-Williams said: “Our role has been to provide back-up across the community and to bring together those who have needed additional support with those who can offer it. The hard work and commitment shown by our team of volunteers has helped the delivery of essential assistance and support to those in need throughout the pandemic, and continues to make a real difference to hundreds across our community area. 

“In the last few months, we responded to 900 direct requests from those in need and delivered hundreds of prescriptions, including a direct service for our assisted living locations, 4,400 ready meals, numerous shopping deliveries, and over 40 laptops and IT services; the latter being essential in supporting home schooling, and vulnerable and isolated individuals.” 

Richard added: “‘On behalf of the Malmesbury Parish Council, Heals and Coop Partnership, we would like to extend a big thank you to SSEN for its support. It has been heartening to see communities pulling together during these unprecedented times.” 

Craig Rankin, SSEN’s Head of Region, said: “In repurposing the Resilient Communities Fund we sought to support the communities we serve, to enable them to respond quickly and efficiently in tackling the local issues they had identified as a result of coronavirus. 

“Malmesbury Parish Council has provided commendable assistance to its community and I am proud of the small role that SSEN has had in their efforts.” 

Earlier this year, successful applicants from community, parish, town and borough councils were awarded up to £3,000 each for projects that supported vulnerable community members, enabled volunteers to support community coronavirus initiatives, provide PPE to vulnerable and frontline workers, run community befriending schemes and improve community communication. 

Since its launch in 2015, SSEN’s Resilient Communities Fund has now provided over £2.7 million to 538 local community projects to build resilience and protect those most vulnerable.  The criteria for this year’s fund was changed following consultation with SSEN stakeholder groups, who strongly supported opening the fund early and targeting coronavirus response.