Bury Council has extended the deadline for local care providers and charities to apply for money and bring a smile to those they look after during the lockdown.

A number of organisations are now using the Innovation Fund to organise small-scale but fun activities in and around the home, such as exercise sessions, cooking, playing games and learning new skills.

Projects which have so far been funded include:

  • Sending “afternoon tea” boxes to all residents, accompanied by pictures and poems from local schoolchildren, from a company who provides care in people’s homes (Care Connect – domiciliary service)
  • Developing gardens as spaces to socialise in and get people active– with giant sets of dominoes, noughts and crosses, plant growing kits (The Fed – Heathlands)
  • The provision of tablets for residents to keep in touch with their families (Brothers of Charity, Brookvale)
  • Equipment to support ‘film nights’ showing classic films and musicals with popcorn (at Whitefield House)
  • Two bungalows for people with learning disabilities (run by Mediline) bid for garden equipment including a shed, barbecue, garden bench, growing kits for people and their families to socialise more.

Given the success of the Innovation Fund, it is being extended for applications until July 3. For details, email cwprocurement@bury.gov.uk

Tracy Minshull, acting assistant director (adult social care commissioning) at the council, said: “It was a pleasure to be able to sit on the panel and read all the wonderful and innovative ideas our providers have for enhancing the lives of the people they support. It was incredibly heart-warming to read all their ideas.”

Councillor Andrea Simpson, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Care providers and charities know exactly where funds will make a difference to their clients and it’s important to have the flexibility to innovate and make that difference to people’s lives, especially during this period where people have had to isolate and change their lives significantly.

"I look forward to hearing where this fund has made that difference.”