Help for unpaid carers
Emergency grants are available to support unpaid carers affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis. The grants are aimed at eligible carers aged 16 and over who provide unpaid care for a friend or family member who, due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, cannot cope without support. It provides up to £300 to help cover costs incurred as a result of the ongoing pandemic, such as purchasing food and essential household items, emergency home repairs that cannot wait for lockdown restrictions to be lifted, transport costs for essential journeys, and the purchase of a laptop, tablet, software, mobile phone or data allowance. Applications must be completed by midday Monday 18 May 2020, and application forms are available at the Carers Trust South East Wales website.
Opening advice for businesses
Businesses in Bridgend County Borough are being asked to contact the local council before reopening to ensure they have relevant and correct systems in place for issues such as social distancing measures, the safe collection of products and more. While non-essential businesses remain closed, Welsh Government has advised that some businesses, such as garden centres, can start to reopen as long as they can demonstrate that appropriate and suitable procedures are in place. Restaurants and cafes have been able to remain open during lockdown if they have been providing deliveries or collections and have ensured that social distancing has been maintained. For more information on important guidance and reopening advice, email [email protected] or [email protected]
Pandemic information on your phone
A free WhatsApp service is available to provide official, trustworthy and up to date information and advice about the coronavirus pandemic – you can sign up by adding 07860 064422 to your phone contacts and messaging the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message.
New small charities grant
Charity-run shops, sports premises and community centres are set to benefit from a new £10,000 Welsh Government business support grant scheme. The scheme will be available to eligible organisations which have properties within the retail, leisure and hospitality sector with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. The funding is being provided to help them respond to the financial challenges of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Applications will be restricted to a maximum of two properties within the county borough area, and it will not be available to organisations that have already received a £10,000 grant from the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF). Organisations who have received less than £10,000 in ERF funding can still apply, but the amount will have to be deducted from the small charities grant – look out for more details soon.
Funding deadline reminder
Don’t forget that local sports clubs have until Friday 15 May to apply for grants of up to £1,000 to help with day-to-day operating costs during the coronavirus pandemic. The council has reconfigured its £75,000 Bridgend Sports Support Fund – part of the community asset transfer process – to provide immediate financial aid during the outbreak. As part of the grant application, sports clubs will need to submit copies of relevant proof of payments such as invoices, receipts and / or bank statements showing expenditure for the period following 31 March 2020. For more details on the fund or for an application form, email the council’s community asset transfer officer at [email protected]
£26.5m support for local businesses
With over 2,165 applications from local firms processed to date, business grant funding issued by Bridgend County Borough Council has reached £26.5m. The support is available for businesses that are eligible for small business rates relief in Wales and who occupy premises with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. It also includes those who fall under small business rates relief but who do not currently pay business rates, and retail, leisure or hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £12,001 to £51,000. Applications can be made by completing the online form.
Helping the homeless
The council’s Jigsaw facility is continuing to assess people’s needs to either prevent them from becoming homeless or help provide emergency accommodation during the coronavirus outbreak. Advice regarding homelessness, the housing register and housing benefit is available online, and people can also contact the council via [email protected] or 01656 643643.
Emergency support to keep you safe
A range of emergency support continues to be available throughout the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Domestic abuse support offered by the Calan DVS Assia Suite is focusing mainly on telephone contact, with personal appointments taking place where it is safe to do so. Refuge accommodation is continuing, as is on-call support – you can access help or find out more by calling 01656 815919 or emailing [email protected]. The Bridgend Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub, or MASH, is also continuing to provide safeguarding services for vulnerable children and adults. You can report concerns about a child to 01656 642320 or [email protected]. Concerns about adults can be directed to 01656 642477 or [email protected], and you can visit www.bridgend.gov.uk/MASH for more information.
Licensed waste carriers
With an increase in the number of waste removal businesses advertising services on social media, residents are being urged to check that they are licensed waste carriers before paying for any services. If a business is not properly licensed, your waste could end up being fly-tipped and lead to potential prosecution. You can find out more at the Natural Resources Wales website.
Keep fit and active
Halo Leisure has teamed up with fitness experts Shapemaster to provide a range of home exercise videos for older adults and people with limited mobility. Created by a specialist physiotherapy team, the videos are designed to help improve strength, balance and mobility while supporting overall health. All the exercises are gentle and low-impact. They last no longer than five minutes, and do not require any specialist equipment. To find out more, visit www.haloleisure.org.uk/halo-at-home