Shropshire Council is providing a package of financial support to community groups and voluntary organisations who are providing critical support to those impacted by COVID-19.

To support this work at a time when the need for their support has never been so important, Shropshire Council will fund community and voluntary organisation activity in a number of ways.

The council is providing £75,000 for community groups, including centres and village halls – to be made available in grants up to a maximum of £500, £100,000 for groups and initiatives providing food and home supplies to older people and vulnerable residents and £120,000 investment in key voluntary organisations, to enable them to deliver vital support.

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council's cabinet member for adult social care, public health and climate change, said he is hugely grateful to everyone coming forward to use their time, energy and skills to support others.

"In such unprecedented times, I am encouraged by the incredible response from our communities to support those most in need," said Councillor Carroll.

"The situation is becoming more serious, but by supporting our grassroots groups we will bolster our communities, enabling them to provide help and support to people who are likely to be most seriously affected by self-isolation and illness caused by the virus.

"We will work to make sure the funds reach the communities that need them the most.

"We are in touch with local voluntary and community organisations to see what is needed and how funds can be spent.

"We will move quickly to ensure organisations working with older and vulnerable people are supported."

The £75,000 funding will be made available through a fast- tracked grants programme: details on how to apply will be made available when the programme launches.

Meanwhile the £100,000 for the provision of food and home supplies will be invested in Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance, which works with partners throughout Shropshire.

And the £120,000 for the voluntary and community organisations will be invested in a number of key Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations with experience of both delivering support to communities and supporting the development of smaller organisations.