SMALL village communities have been supported through the coronavirus pandemic with the help of local community groups, thanks to support fund.

East Durham Rural Corridor Area Action Partnership (AAP) was given money as part of Durham County Council’s £1.4m coronavirus support fund to award to organisations that have been helping others during the pandemic.

It awarded almost £5,000 to the Bowburn Youth Project to help it support the vulnerable in the community or those self-isolating.

The money allowed volunteers to provide food parcels, take-away food and a meals on wheel service, supporting families who were unemployed, elderly or experiencing hardship because of the pandemic.

Volunteers also collected shopping and prescriptions for residents in need and offered friendly phone calls to ensure members of their community didn’t feel isolated or lonely.

Most of the funding was spent on food for families, with the rest going towards utensils, food cartons and PPE for volunteers.

Another group to receive funding from the AAP was Trimdon Community College Association which was awarded almost £3,000.

This project worked closely with the Trimdon Foodbank during the pandemic to provide access to basic fresh foods, such as eggs, milk and bread to residents and to supplement emergency parcels.

Volunteers also created one-off emergency parcels which featured cleaning materials and toiletries for those who needed temporary support, as well as specific items such as baby food or gluten free products to families in crisis.

Hot lunches were then supplied to those who were alone, older, vulnerable or socially isolating for 12 weeks, thanks to volunteers working alongside their local pub.

Another part of the project is supporting families with basic craft and baking packs offered and books and study materials provided to older children.