Recovery for All: tackling loneliness and isolation

02 FEB 2021

Faith-based charity, Together Middlesbrough & Cleveland (TM&C), has been awarded £22,400 of Hope Beyond funding from Allchurches Trust, to assist with its work on loneliness and food poverty - challenges which have been intensified by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The funding boost will support TM&C’s Recovery for All project, through which the charity will continue to provide much-needed social support to Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland.
What is Recovery for All?
Loneliness was already a problem before the pandemic. Since March 2020, loneliness has increased significantly throughout the UK. According to a survey of UK adults during November 2020, nearly one in four adults said they had experienced feelings of loneliness within the previous two weeks. Loneliness is particularly acute in Middlesbrough, which has experienced one of the highest rates of infection in the UK, and, having experienced successive lockdowns throughout the last year, the issue of loneliness has been compounded. 
Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities have been disproportionately adversely affected by the pandemic. As one of the most diverse areas in the North East, 12% of the Middlesbrough population is from a BAME background and there has been a sharp rise in food poverty in the area.
As part of its Recovery for All project, TM&C will strengthen its support to all, in particular to BAME-led community groups, and bridge the gap in social provision, through:
One-to-one befriending sessions and other online activities such as webinars, designed to tackle isolation and loneliness.
● Additional ‘Covid Cash Recovery’ courses will give financial advice to all organisations working with vulnerable people financially struggling.
● Extending outreach and development support to BAME-led groups, churches and all faith communities - and their leaders. This will help them to better deliver emergency food, and other social support projects.
TM&C and Civil Society CIC have undertaken a major research exercise to understand the impact of Covid-19 on local community and faith communities – and, therefore, how to best channel support. Under Recovery for All, the infrastructure charity will implement the recommendations via a Recovery (for All) plan. 
Chair of Together Middlesbrough & Cleveland and Bishop of Whitby, Right Reverend Paul Ferguson, commented: "We are delighted to be able to announce this vital funding boost from Allchurches Trust. Thanks to their support, we will be able to continue to provide much needed support in our community and start to look to a future beyond COVID-19."
Throughout the Coronavirus crisis, TM&C has continually strived to meet the growing and often urgent needs of local people, churches, faith-based organisations and communities in the area. The work prioritises the most vulnerable and socially-isolated communities. 
With support from Civil Society Consulting CIC (CSC) and Hope Beyond funding from Allchurches, TM&C will be able to continue to deliver urgently needed strategies to combat loneliness and social isolation locally.
Andrew Bass, Grants Officer for Allchurches Trust, said: “Through Allchurches Hope Beyond funding, we hope to give churches and Christian charities the support they need to help rebuild communities, offering them opportunities to secure a brighter future beyond COVID-19. 
“We’re delighted that our grant to TM&C will help to tackle the very real issue of loneliness and isolation in the BAME community through its Recovery for All project, providing practical and emotional support in the most challenging of times.”
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