THE COUNCIL has revealed all the work done to support businesses and residents across the district during the pandemic.

Over the last 18 months Braintree Council supported the district throughout three national lockdowns as businesses were forced to close.

The council has supported residents by:

• Freezing its share of council tax for the year 2021/22

• Giving more than 7500 tests to residents from Causeway House as part of a community testing venue supporting Essex County Council

• Helping with 413 referrals for a variety of support including food shopping, collection and delivery of food parcels, prescription delivery, mental health calls and befriending

• Supporting 3,121 individuals deemed clinically extremely vulnerable and 127 people identified as shielding

• Distributing more than £67,000 as part of its Councillor Community Grant scheme

• Working in partnership with Community 360, to distribute £16,100 of funding from the DEFRA Emergency Assistance Grant for food and supplies to eight groups across the district

• Working in partnership with Essex Council for Voluntary Youth Services, to distributed £13,627 to children and young people groups to support them with re-mobilisation. A further £33,184 has been distributed to voluntary groups to enable them to continue to provide support to those deemed clinically extremely vulnerable

• Transporting 229 individuals to their Covid vaccination appointment through its community transport scheme

• Supporting young people by promoting schemes such as the Kickstart scheme which provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds whose have been impacted by the pandemic

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Leader of Braintree Council, councillor Graham Butland said: "Most residents, businesses and ourselves, as a local authority, have been affected by the pandemic which has changed all our lives in different ways.

"Over the last year, the far reaching impacts of the pandemic has seen the council go above and beyond to deal with the challenges, supporting our residents, communities and businesses as well as adapting how we delivered services to keep key services running.

"We are proud of how the community has come together during the pandemic and of the role the council has been able to play supporting the community at what has been a very difficult time."

The council will publishing more information about our services following the government announcement on July 12.