TWO local Oldham community groups have been selected to receive a share of Great Places Housing Group’s £100,000 Resilience Fund.

Reel CIC, specialising in inclusive education, and SAWN (Support & Action Women’s Network) have been given a total of £15,500 to support to residents who have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Resilience Fund was set up specifically to help communities cope with the continued impact of the pandemic and a total of 13 community groups and charitable organisations across all five of Great Places’ operating regions will get a share of the fund.

Great Places, which manages 24,000 homes across the North West and Yorkshire, established the fund with help from partners and contractors to ensure the group’s customers would be able to access support during these challenging times.

Each of the successful groups and organisations target one of the following themes; poverty reduction including fuel, furniture and food; employment, training and volunteering opportunities; financial and digital inclusion and organisational resilience.

Community groups and charitable organisations have been amongst the hardest hit and the money will help them provide vital services to the communities they operate in.

Matt Harrison, chief executive of Great Places, said: “Covid-19 has provided massive challenges to the communities with whom we work, and the implications will impact on lives for many months, if not years.

“As an organisation that places social purpose at the heart of everything we do, we want to do our part to support communities through these difficult times, so it’s really exciting to be able to announce the beneficiaries of our Resilience Fund to support those hardest hit by the pandemic.

“It’s fantastic to be able to invest in community groups to help them build the resilience they will need for potentially difficult times ahead.”

Rosie Ssali, founder of SAWN, said: “We are very grateful to Great Places for the donation, which we’ll be using to buy a van. It will mean we will have more flexibility picking up and delivering furniture.

‘The funds from the shop that will be made from having an efficient van means our other projects that we’re now running due to covid-19 will benefit.

“We will also able to put some funds towards the continuity of our African food bank and delivering that to families. It will also reduce fuel poverty because we will be able to supply gas and electric vouchers to the regular families we work with.”