Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness has brought forward the annual £200,000 community fund as a new project designed to help local charity organisations continue their vital work.

Across the region hundreds of organisations are facing an unprecedented challenge in how they support families and help prevent crime following the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

With immediate effect from today (Monday 30 March), the Commissioner’s office will take applications for grants of up to £5k to help sustain the delivery of crucial community projects that have been impacted by the current global health crisis.

The Coronavirus Response Fund will initially prioritise applications from organisations supporting the most vulnerable within our communities, including those at risk of domestic abuse. The fund will also look at ways to support young people at risk of abuse, neglect or the impacts of poverty now the stability and support of schools has been taken away.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “Things are really tough right now for so many. Over the past few days I’ve been in touch with many organisations that we work with and it’s been absolutely clear that they need more support and, and fast. These organisations are all playing an important part in the region’s response to the current crisis in some way.

“Whether they need to increase capacity, or reach out to people offering support in innovative new ways, what is clear is that a lot of important work won’t wait.

Kim added: “This virus, sadly, is going to have lasting implications for many charities. Across our region, as in the rest of the country, our economy is taking a hit and that’s impacting on things such as counselling and youth intervention services.

“I’d like to get some financial help out there as soon as possible, ideally to projects and services that are already set up in order to help make a difference at speed.

“But we have to be realistic; the fund I am announcing today is only a drop in the ocean compared to what our multi-million pound charity and voluntary sector need. That’s why I am urging the Chancellor to set out urgent further help for these organisations.

“We do not want to recover from this outbreak only to see the quiet support network that keeps us safe has disappeared.”

The closing date for applications is April 9th and the Commissioner will open a second round of funding later in the year.

Further details about the fund, how projects can be important in supporting the work of Northumbria Police and how to apply are available on the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner’s Website or email