Central Bedfordshire Council is reaching out to community, faith and volunteer groups in a bid to increase vaccine take-up.

Grants of up to £2000 are available to groups across Central Bedfordshire to help them to encourage their members to take up the vaccination.

Throughout the pandemic, voluntary and community groups have provided a vital role and trusted voice within our communities.

The COVID-19 Increasing Vaccinations Fund provides grants to support activities that are directly related to overcoming vaccine hesitancy.

The fund will provide one-off grants for activities that can get up and running quickly and focus on areas of deprivation and vulnerable groups where COVID-19 has had a significant impact.

Examples of how the grants can be used, include, but are not limited to:

  • Costs relating to community meetings
  • Production and distribution of printed materials, including signage Translation services
  • Volunteer expenses or additional staff costs directly related to overcoming vaccine hesitancy
  • Website modifications
  • Information sharing and befriending services and transport to vaccination services

Applications for grants are invited from the voluntary and community sector and match funding is not required for applications submitted under the scheme.

The scheme runs from 13 September 2021 until 13 December 2021.

Cllr Tracey Stock, executive member with responsibilities for Communities, said:

“We know that faith and community groups play a significant role, particularly with some of our more hard-to-reach residents.

“This grant will help them to tackle vaccine hesitancy more effectively; whether it’s breaking down language barriers by paying for translation services; providing transport to vaccination centres or by meeting the costs of a community meeting.

“It is hoped, that by being more able to provide accurate information about COVID-19 and the vaccination, it will encourage take-up of the vaccine and tackle the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on certain groups.”

Central Bedfordshire Council is inviting applications from a wide range of groups – go to the council’s website for more information about the scheme and details on how to apply.