MONEY confiscated from criminals has been given a welcome new purpose to help tireless Middlewich volunteers supporting the community's most vulnerable.

More than 200 volunteers have been working with Middlewich Town Council, Middlewich Vision and Middlewich Foodbank throughout the coronavirus crisis to deliver prescriptions, shopping and urgent supplies to vulnerable people, as well as emotional support.

Now, they have received £936 from the Safer Communities Fund, run by the office of David Keane, police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Cheshire.

It will be used for essential items including personal protective equipment for volunteers, leaflets, handheld card readers to take safe contactless payments for shopping, and food storage.

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Bev Cope, representing the partnership, said: "I can't tell you just how delighted we are to receive this good news and I thank the PCC and his team for their support.

"We want to ensure that every vulnerable resident in Middlewich receives essential help when needed and we can provide practical support to those who need us."

The Safer Communities Fund uses cash taken from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and passes it on to good causes in Cheshire.

Mr Keane has been impressed with the dedicated efforts of Middlewich's army of volunteers.

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He said: "The coronavirus pandemic continues to add financial pressures and increased isolation to residents across Cheshire and especially those within more rural areas.

"It’s fantastic to see organisations coming together to ensure vulnerable people in our communities are well looked after.

"This partnership has created a lifeline for many residents and with the support of more than 200 volunteers will be able to continue to provide much needed support over the coming months."

The partnership is now able to accept referrals and mobilise support for Middlewich residents, and can make contact with more specialist services where required.

For more information see middlewich.org.uk/covid-19-response