Praise for Building Bridges in Burnley's work during pandemic

The Building Bridges in Burnley group has been commended for its community work in recent months of the pandemic.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 3:45 pm
Building Bridges in Burnley
Building Bridges in Burnley

The multi-faith group has been working in partnership with Near Neighbours England since the beginning of December serving as the Lancashire Hub in administering their Community Covid Relief Grants.

Near Neighbours is the Church of England’s social action charity with similar aims to Building Bridges in Burnley focusing on social integration, working in partnership with others in some of the most diverse and disadvantaged areas in England, to build stronger, cohesive communities in which people of all backgrounds can come together, connect and contribute.

Near Neighbours has eleven hubs across the country in which a Near Neighbours co-ordinator facilitates partnerships, links people together, and provides opportunities for training, encounter and honest conversations, between community organisations, faith groups and local activists.

Near Neighbours approached Building Bridges in Burnley to act as their Lancashire Hub and administer Community Covid Relief Grants to organisations and community groups in Lancashire which are locally embedded, support and represent communities they serve, to help support communities affected Covid-19 Pandemic.

The grants supported projects that work to address social isolation, financial distress and digital exclusion. Keep people connected and informed. The grants encourage projects that adapt and translate resources that will benefit their communities. That support community-based activities that are permitted under restriction exemptions and that are delivered in a covid-secure way, work to adapt projects to digital delivery and support and train communities to reduce digital exclusion.

The partnership work has been such a great success that Near Neighbours will now fund a full time and a permanent Coordinator to be based with and work for Building Bridges in Burnley. The post has been advertised widely with the closing date on April 1st and interview on 12th.

Coun. Beatrice Foster, BBB’s lead on the partnership and grants administration said. “We are serving as the Hub for the Community Covid Relief Grants across East Lancashire.

"We have had over 30 organisations contact us for information and support, following consideration 17 were recommended and in total 15 were successful. Lancashire’s share was highest than any other Hubs.

"The grants will help these voluntary groups to reach out to the communities they work with, to help relieve the effect the Covid-19 pandemic has had on them, such as loneliness, bereavement, the reduction of digital exclusion, keeping connected and keeping safe.

"A vital part of the Grants is the giving out the correct information around the Corona virus and encouraging all communities to follow the Government Guidelines to keep safe.”

Mozaquir Ali, managing and over-seeing the partnership work, said: “It has been a great honour and a privilege to be recognised and work in partnership with a national charity like Near Neighbours. It is a great credit to the town and all our volunteers and partners both in faith and community groups who work tirelessly for a more cohesive Burnley.

"We look forward to consolidating our partnership with Near Neighbours and working together to realise our common objectives in achieving a more cohesive and harmonious communities in Lancashire.”

Coun. Afrasiab Anwar MBE, chairman of BBB said, “We are grateful to our volunteers from our local faith communities who have been on the ground delivering food parcels, supporting the Burnley Together hub, providing emergency response and working with local mosques and churches to deliver key messages.

"We have also worked closely with partners including Lancashire Forum of faiths and the Lancashire resilience Forum to support the planning and development of strategies for the safe reopening of our faith institutions.”