Rural charities and organisations struggling in the face of the Covid-19 crisis are being urged to consider a new Coronavirus Response Fund.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness has brought forward and increased the annual community fund in a bid to help hundreds of organisations across the region who are facing an unprecedented challenge in how they support those in need.

Since then the Commissioner’s office has been inundated with applications for the £200,000 fund, and now the call has gone out for rural organisations to make their case.

Commissioner Kim McGuinness said: “Things are really tough right now for so many and rural communities, for me, are a great concern. They can often feel isolated and out of help’s reach at the best of times. There are teachers worried about the gap in provisions for rural pupils, healthcare is often miles away and many rural areas have older, more vulnerable populations.

“There are some fantastic charities and services that do serve these communities – protecting the vulnerable and helping prevent crime. We cannot afford to lose them as they are a crucial lifeline to so many. They’re all playing an important part in the region’s response to the current crisis in some way and I want to make sure they know about this funding as it could help them out.”

Northumberland County Council’s cabinet member for the community and voluntary sector, Cath Homer, said: “Communities across Northumberland have really come together to support those most in need at this difficult time.

“Many of the volunteer groups that have been set up are relying on the goodwill of others, which whilst admirable just isn’t sustainable, and they urgently need funding to help them continue to protect the most vulnerable. I’d urge them to apply as a matter of urgency.”

The Coronavirus Response Fund is seeking applications of up to £5,000 from a range of organisations such as those 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.

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: