Penzance Council is using its Social Action Fund to support projects which are helping vulnerable people in the local community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Originally set up in 2019, the fund usually helps tackle issues such as poverty, homelessness and rough sleeping, drugs and alcohol abuse, youth issues and loneliness and dementia.

Concerned by the impact of the coronavirus on vulnerable people living in the parish, the council has now redirected some of the funding to support a range of community initiatives during the next 12 weeks.

Penzance mayor Nicole Broadhurst said: “While this is a very worrying time for everyone, we know that the most vulnerable people in our community are being particularly badly affected.”

“It is fantastic to see local groups and organisations rallying around to support them in practical ways.

"I am very proud of our local community and am delighted that the council can play its part by providing financial support for these projects.”

The projects include additional accommodation for homeless people, schemes to deliver essential groceries and prescriptions for those who are self-isolating, and regular checks on people who are living alone.

The grants include:

  • £1,000 for the Breadline in Penzance project run by St Petrocs:

St Petrocs has now extended the opening hours at its resource centre to include weekends so that rough sleepers can visit the doctor, use the toilet and shower, have access to food, and receive help to source housing so they can self-isolate.

Dave Brown, from St Petrocs, said: “With extra funding, Breadline will be able to open for six days a week.

“Breadline’s primary aim is to get people indoors, but while many are still forced to remain outside it endeavours to provide a service which is often a solitary lifeline during this crisis.”

The funding from the council will enable these extra hours to continue over the next 12 weeks while the government’s lockdown restrictions are in place.

The project anticipates that around 65 people will use the service during this period.

  • £,1000 for Pengarth Day Centre:

The funding will be used to increase the capacity of its Meals on Wheels service.

The aim is to provide more people with meals, carry out more welfare checks and collect and deliver prescriptions and shopping for vulnerable residents.

  • £750 for the Street Food Project run by the Growing Links CIC:

The Street Food Project aims to help around 200 vulnerable people and their families a week, through delivering fresh fruit and vegetables to resident in and around Penzance, including people living rough and in tents in the town.

  • £1,500 for the Whole Again Communities CIC:

The funding will enable the project to prepare and deliver cooked food and boxes of fresh produce to vulnerable households and families on Treneere Estate.

The teams are proving information and advice on cooking, growing food and general support via Facebook Live workshops, and delivering seeds and arts and crafts materials.

General manager Graham Lewis said: “We have already been able to buy containers for delivery and to set up weekly food delivery and would encourage anyone who is really struggling to get in touch with us on 075578 07015.”

The project aims to increase their regular distribution to more than 50 households, with the target of over 400 hot meals a week.