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Funding boost to roll-out COVID-19 vaccination community champions

Croydon Council is working with local community groups to encourage more residents to take up their Covid-19 vaccinations and help them to stay safe as we live with the virus.

The council received a £480,000 grant from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to increase positive conversations about the Covid-19 vaccine and encourage more people to get their vaccinations, whether it’s their first, second or third dose.

The council has awarded funding from the grant to four Croydon VCS infrastructure organisations – Croydon Voluntary Action, BME Forum, ARCC and CNCA – to distribute around £74,000 each to local community groups.

There are many hubs and talking points in communities across the borough already attracting hundreds of local residents, on a daily or weekly basis. These will be targeted for these important conversations with our Covid-19 vaccination community champions.

Local community groups need to apply for a share of the funding to take part in the initiative by 5pm, Friday 25 March. They could receive a maximum of £15,000 each.

Organisations can create new events or use their existing projects as opportunities for these dialogues and to promote the vaccine. The activities will start in June 2022 for six – 12 months.

We are particularly interested in groups working in areas and communities with a low Covid-19 vaccine uptake.

“Since the start of the pandemic, Croydon Council has been working with our local NHS health partners and communities across Croydon to make sure that all residents can access information about the Covid-19 vaccine and get their questions answered. This funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will be used to support our ongoing successful efforts to increase the number of residents who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

“The new Covid-19 vaccination community champions will help us to reach out more widely to those who remain concerned about the vaccine. We want everyone to have all the information they need to make an informed choice about protecting themselves and those around them from the virus.”

Councillor Janet Campbell, cabinet member for families, health and social care

Rachel Flowers, Croydon’s director of public health, said: “It is still really important to get vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus. We are pleased to have the opportunity to support our local community groups to engage with residents and remind them that getting vaccinated is your best defence from becoming seriously ill from coronavirus.

“Throughout the pandemic, the council, community and voluntary sector and faith groups across the borough have helped to keep Croydon safe from Covid-19. This funding will support new and ongoing efforts to protect our communities.”

All adults are now eligible for their Covid-19 booster, provided it has been at least three months since their second jab. People can visit a pop-up or walk-in centre in Croydon or book via the National Booking Service.

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