More than £53,500 provided by Severn Trent Community Fund to Leicestershire community groups helping people beat isolation

31st January 2024

The Severn Trent Community Fund has made grants of £53,531 to two community groups in Leicestershire which are helping to bring people together by creating safe, warm and welcoming spaces and helping to banish feelings of isolation.

The Elohim Christian Church in Barlestone has received a grant of £36,450 to extend its Food Hamper and Rural Community Food Pantry project.

The funding will go towards repairing and expanding the existing foodbank space to meet growing demand for its food hamper and community kitchen services, which delivers food to people living in rural locations who may be vulnerable to feelings of isolation.

Alongside the foodbank, the church runs a number of volunteer-driven community services and offers support for local people who may be feeling isolated.

Faye Clarke, Minister at the Elohim Christian Church, said: “With the ongoing pressures around the cost of living, we have seen the need for our foodbank service rise week-on-week and have reached a point where our existing space simply isn’t large enough. Some people have referred to this as a literal lifeline, and we want to make sure that we can help as many people as we can in our community, which is why this funding is so important.”

A further grant of £17,081 has been made to the Palace Community Centre in Ibstock for the installation of a new central heating system.

The Palace Community Centre opened in the former Palace cinema and bingo hall in 2006. Originally built in 1912, the building had been closed to the public since 1993 and has needed a major renovation.

A well-used community venue by people from both Ibstock and the local area, the Palace holds regular classes and events including exercise and social groups for the elderly, classes for people recovering from cancer surgery, young mother and toddler groups and a community drama group.

It also stages concerts, film nights, rural touring shows and pantomimes and hosts advice clinics and warm spaces during the winter.  The Palace is also used on a regular basis for private events like birthday parties.

Sue Heyes, Severn Community Fund Officer, said: “Following the pandemic there was a sharp rise in people feeling isolated and only and we’re always really pleased to be able to support groups that are working to bring people together in safe, warm and welcoming spaces.

“The work of both the Elohim Christian Church and Palace Community Centre obviously have a fantastic positive impact on their communities and it’s wonderful that we’ve been able to support them through the Severn Trent Community Fund.”

For more information on the Severn Trent Community Fund and to find out how to make an application visit