A CHARITY organisation led by the Duke of Westminster has donated £250k to Cheshire West and Chester Council's Community Response Fund.

The cash injection from the Westminster Foundation means the council's funding pot to support local community initiatives has been doubled to £500k.

The Community Response Fund offers community initiatives emergency funding to respond to issues as a result of coronavirus (Covid-19).

More than 1,500 residents have already pledged their support for the co-ordinated community response, which is being organised by the council, Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) and the rest of the community and voluntary sector.

Many new community initiatives have started to appear as west Cheshire shows true community spirit to support some of the most vulnerable residents in the borough.

The fund will be able to help these initiatives, as well as those more established ones that will continue to provide a valuable service in the fight against Covid-19.

It could support the training of volunteers, administration, marketing, fuel, supplies and other costs.

Cllr Carol Gahan, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “We’d like to thank the Westminster Foundation for its donation towards our Community Response Fund.

“Both new and established community initiatives across west Cheshire are going to play a key role supporting vulnerable people during this unprecedented period.

“An extra £250,000 in funding from the Westminster Foundation will make a significant difference to these community initiatives.”

Kate Brown, director of the Westminster Foundation, said: “At a time like this, it’s vital we support and care for one another in our local communities.

“The Duke of Westminster and Grosvenor family have a long association with Chester and the surrounding rural areas, which is why we wanted to match Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Community Response Fund as one of our initiatives to manage the impact of coronavirus.

“Led by The Duke of Westminster, we are doing all we can to help a range of organisations and charities maintain their vital services, especially those supporting vulnerable children and families, or those who are isolated and may be struggling to access food and maintain positive mental health at this very difficult time.”

Any group based in west Cheshire, such as voluntary organisations, community groups, small charities or other not-for-profit-organisations, can apply for the fund.

Applications for the Community Response Fund will be considered from groups that show they are providing a service or initiative that benefits others in their community in response to this emergency.

The council is unlikely to support individuals, businesses and sporting organisations and all applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

To access an application form, community initiatives will need to email chesterlocality@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk. They will then be able to complete the application form and return it to the same email address. If groups do not have their own bank account, they should contact the Locality team for support.

The Westminster Foundation is an independent organisation, representing the charitable activity of The Duke of Westminster, Grosvenor Family and Grosvenor businesses that provides long-term sustainable help and direction to vulnerable young lives.

Led by The Duke of Westminster, the Foundation is passionately committed to giving young people the attention, care and direction that everyone should be able to take for granted.

New community initiatives are still being urged to get on board with the coordinated community response to give west Cheshire the best chance of fighting Covid-19 together.