A CLYDEBANK charity has received £8,900 from the National Lottery Community Fund to help support minority ethnic members of the local community.

The Isaro Community Initiative, a charity which promotes social and economic integration of communities in West Dunbartonshire and beyond, will use the new funds to help with access to advice, information and advocacy for those self-isolated during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as providing food and other essential equipment to those in need.

Rose Sehakizinka, project coordinator at Isaro Community Initiative, said: “We are supporting people to access culturally appropriate food and addressing any advocacy needs they have. We are offering support with utility advice and accessing hardship grants.

“When needed, food packages are being delivered to vulnerable families in financial difficulty and prescriptions are being collected.

“For the children who are involved in Isaro, we have been giving out activity packs, which include art and crafts materials, books and baking ingredients.

“In the upcoming weeks, we will deliver small gardening packs for households which will enable them to grow small vegetables at home such as tomatoes or herbs, a great activity for all the family to be involved in and it ties in nicely with our ethos of promoting environmentally practices.”

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Neil Ritch, Scotland director of the National Lottery Community Fund, said: “I would like to congratulate Isaro Community Initiative on the work they are doing. Their community response is an important project that will support people now during the current crisis, and in the future when they can physically come back together to make great things happen in their community.”

Rose added: “Communities are going through a hard time and people need each other even more. It is vital that community groups like Isaro continue to maintain that sense of togetherness. This funding will allow us to adopt new approaches to tackling barriers stopping anyone from accessing support during this crisis.”

And speaking about life post-lockdown, Rose said: “We are aware that the lockdown is having a detrimental impact on people’s wellbeing and mental health, so we are putting in place plans to ensure we have the capacity to take on more weekly sessions and continue with advocacy in the local area.

“We are under no illusion that the financial impact will be felt in communities for a while to come. We are making good links now to ensure our service users do not have to suffer from food insecurity or fuel poverty which will be imperative after the lockdown.”