Voluntary organisations and charities which are supporting Hertsmere residents through the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic could qualify for a funding boost of up to £5,000.

The second stream of Hertsmere Borough Council's community grants programme is now open for applications for groups and organisations which are actively supporting the community in the current crisis.

Just over £25,000 is available in the present phase, though only applications for up to £5,000 will be accepted.

Examples of projects which could qualify for funding this time around are those which support the wellbeing of vulnerable groups; promote community cohesion; offer debt and financial advice; or provide activities which have a positive impact on community and individual wellbeing more generally.

Councillor Caroline Clapper, portfolio holder for leisure, culture and health, said: "From early on in lockdown, we could see the potentially negative impact this pandemic was going to have on everyone, but particularly the most vulnerable and needy in our community.

"In response, we, as a council, made a decision to pump extra funding into our community grants programme and change the application process to this two-step approach.

"If you are a voluntary organisation or charity working to help our community in this unprecedented moment of crisis, we want to hear from you."

Organisations which benefitted from the first round of £25,000 funding earlier this year were Friends of Newberries School in Radlett (£2,500); Potters Bar Community News (2,000); Gratitude (£2,000); Potters Bar Town Football Club (£3,000); St Albans and Hertsmere Women’s Refuge (£2,904); Communities 1st (£3,000); Radlett and District Museum (£600); Bushey Museum (£2,800); Sixty Plus (Potters Bar and South Mimms) (£2,015); Livewell (£3,000); Cecil’s Horse Sanctuary (£1,500); Potters Bar Gymnastics Club (£3,000); Elstree and Borehamwood Museum (£1,400); and Maxwell Park Community Centre (£3,000).

Since June councillors have also awarded more than £15,000 of ward improvement initiative scheme (WIIS) funding to charities and organisations which have seen an increase in demand during the pandemic.

For more information about the community grants programme go to www.hertsmere.gov.uk/communitygrants