Steve Rotheram: Help support the community and volunteer groups that are getting us through this crisis.

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The coronavirus epidemic represents the greatest peace policy challenge we have ever faced.

Steve Rotheram, the Mayor of Metro, explains in a letter to ECHO how you can help the people in our region who are struggling with the greatest peace challenge we have ever faced.

LCR Cares starts today, and here is how you can help

Local authorities, transport companies, trade associations, emergency services, local charities and many others.

My team in the Combined Authority is working hard to do everything in our power to work with partners like the Local Resilience Forum to combat the health and economic impact of the virus,

As a city region, we are pulling together to contain the effects of the virus.

I have also suspended tolls on the Mersey tunnels to help front line workers who travel for essential reasons.

Merseytravel buses now offer free rides to and from school for the children of key employees, and the 9:30 restriction on reduced fares for essential travel – such as access to certain shopping hours for the elderly – has been lifted for people over 60.

Even if things have to return to normal at some point, this is the right way forward now.

Throughout our City Region, key workers in so many areas – from the NHS, the caring professions, the police, retail and distribution to teachers, postal and transport workers – are making their contribution.

But we also need our community and the voluntary sector to provide the resources needed to continue its vital work in our communities.

That’s why I’ve launched LCR Cares – a new crowdfunding campaign with the goal of raising £1 million to help community and volunteer organizations at the forefront of helping communities cope with the spread of the corona virus.

The fund will primarily provide assistance to key projects such as food banks, the delivery of food and care packages to vulnerable people who are isolating themselves, services and projects that help reduce isolation – and emotional and psychological support.

Through www.lcrcares.co.uk people can make donations to the fund quickly and easily.

To get the fund off the ground, the Combined Authority has initially pledged £200,000 and a further £50,000 from the National Emergencies Trust.

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