Community and voluntary groups in Leicester are being invited to bid for funding for initiatives that will encourage more people to get their vaccinations against Covid-19.
More than £200,000 is available to fund projects that will address the concerns of people who are hesitant to come forward for their jabs.
Leicester City Council’s public health team will be distributing the funding, after making a successful bid for £485,000 from the Government’s Community Vaccine Champions programme.
Asst city mayor for public health Cllr Vi Dempster said: “We know from local insight work that there are a range of issues that stop people from coming forward for their vaccine, including perceived side-effects, lack of trust in the Government or authorities, and other negative influences.
“The aim of the community vaccine programme is to give the groups who are closest to the most at-risk communities the money, resources and support they need to identify the barriers in their way and help to remove them.”
Groups from the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector can find out more about the scheme and how to apply for a grant at online information sessions that will take place on 2 March. The first sessions will run from 2pm to 3.30pm and will be repeated from 6pm to 7.30pm.
Groups who want to find out more or take part in the sessions are being asked to register their interest by emailing: email@example.com
The Government’s funding programme was open to bids from councils in areas with low rates of uptake of the vaccine.
The rest of the money awarded to Leicester will pay for a range of activities that will tackle misinformation about vaccine safety; minimise physical barriers to getting it; making sure that public health messages reach all communities; and to work directly with people who have been hard to reach.
The scheme will open for applications from 2 March and close on 16 March. The Government’s deadline for projects to be completed is the end of July.
In Leicester, 66% of people age 12 and over have received two doses of the vaccination, compared to the national average of 75%
Vaccinations are still available across the city, including at walk-in clinics where no appointment is needed. Full details of where you can get vaccinated in Leicester are available at leicestercityccg.nhs.uk or by calling the NHS on 119.