Over £23 million (€25.9 million) worth of funding has been allocated across England to expand work to support those most at risk from COVID-19 and boost vaccine take-up, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced Wednesday.
The money has been made available via the Community Champions Scheme, a non-profit organization focused on building the skills and knowledge of local communities, to improve health and well being.
The 60 councils chosen to receive this funding are areas with a higher rate of elderly people, disabled people, and people from ethnic minority backgrounds who according to recent evidence are more likely to suffer long-term impacts from COVID-19.
The Community Champions Scheme will work to communicate accurate health information and is developing plans to improve communications with these groups of people as well as identifying barriers for accurate vaccine information.
Their plans include improving helplines, school programmes, workplace engagement, phoning those in at-risk groups, as well as training sessions to help people provide information and advice about COVID-19 and the vaccines.
“It is vital that everyone has access to accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19. False information about COVID-19 vaccines could cost lives,” Jenrick said in a statement to Euronews.
“Today’s funding will help councils and community groups expand some of the excellent work already underway and reach out to their communities to ensure they have the information they need and get their questions answered.
“Ultimately this funding will help save lives,” he added.