A special fund of over £50,000 has been set up to help rural communities across North East Wales battle the coronavirus epidemic.

The cash is being administered by regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd who are appealing to local organisations to come forward and share in funds worth up to £3,000 each.

It’s aimed at helping develop new ways of providing local services such as Meals on Wheels and other outreach programmes to help people in rural Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham, particularly the elderly and most vulnerable.

Cadwyn Clwyd operate through Local Action Groups in each county and the chair of the Flintshire LAG, Sue Haygarth, said: “This crisis is going to last for more than a couple of weeks and organisations need sustainable help and assistance.

“The people on the ground have the knowledge of who is likely to need help and where that help needs to go to and this will help provide the resources for these local champions to deliver crucial and timely services.

“The cash will help community organisations to adapt to new ways of working and developing innovative solutions to providing services to their communities.”

The fund, worth £54,000 in total is from a pot of almost £8 million of LEADER project funding which is being administered by Corwen-based agency, Cadwyn Clwyd and from part of the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.

The cash is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government as part of a six-year plan to revitalise rural communities and their economies.

Cadwyn Clwyd Manager Lowri Owain said: “These are very challenging times and that’s as true for the rural areas as for the towns across Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham.

“This money is aimed at community groups, charities and public sector organisations which are at the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus epidemic.

“Many of them are having to seek new ways of delivering their services which is very challenging at this difficult time.

“The cash will be channelled to them through the Local Action Groups (LAG) we have set up across the rural areas of Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham.

“We are already helping organisations across the three areas including, for example, the purchase of food containers for home deliveries.

“We are faced with a rapidly changing situation in the in the context of the outbreak and these funds will help adjust frontline community support.

“Local organisations can contact Cadwyn Clwyd and we will work with them with our officers helping them to claim the funds they need.

“We don’t want to take anyone away from the front line and tie them up with organisational matters and these grants can cover equipment and even with marketing costs for material to raise public awareness.”

South Denbighshire Community Partnership is based in Corwen and works in the Edeyrnion area and Chief Officer Margaret Sutherland said: “This is really welcome help at a very difficult time for people in the rural areas and I’m delighted at Cadwyn Clwyd’s swift response.

“We will certainly make an application to help us maintain the services we provide such as meals on wheels, shopping for the elderly and vulnerable and our food bank to which we’re now adding prescription collection.

“We had a fantastic response to our appeal for volunteers and we are now at full capacity and in the process of assigning them roles to help.”

SDCP have also set up a helpline number on 01490-266004 for Edeyrnion residents to contact them between 10am and 3pm each day.

To date Cadwyn Clwyd has allocated over £5 million on LEADER projects across Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham, liaising with Local Action Groups who have the final say on funding.

For more information about Cadwyn Clwyd and to make enquiries about how to access financial support contact them on 01490 340500, email: admin@cadwynclwyd.co.uk or go to http://cadwynclwyd.co.uk/

South Denbighshire Community Partnership’s Helpline is 01490 266004 and for updated information on SDCP’s response go to https://www.facebook.com/sdcpartnership