SEVERAL charities in Ryedale have benefitted from more than £479,727 allocated by the Coronavirus Community Support Fund.

The Encephalitis Society, Sight Support Ryedale and Ryedale Community Transport all received funding from the £200m Coronavirus Community Support Fund, which is supporting the voluntary and charity sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake said: “This will make a huge difference for charities and voluntary organisations whose income has been severely impacted by the pandemic.

“It will mean that they can continue the excellent work they have been doing upon which many people rely.”

The Encephalitis Society, in Malton, provides awareness of the condition, an inflammation of the brain, which affects 6,000 people in the UK each year.

“I would be understating how excited we all were when we found out about this grant as it gives us some security, which is so important to our community,” said Julia Clark, the chairty’s director of engagement.

“Grants are an integral way of allowing us to continue our work and to develop projects for our members.

“They have become even more important this year as the global lockdown has meant that we have lost fundraising opportunities which represent a large chunk of our annual income.”

Ryedale Community Transport (RCT), based in Norton, provides affordable transport for people who are disadvantaged because of physical or mental disability and geographically isolated.

“We are absolutely delighted to receive this news, a generous donation of this size will make a huge difference in allowing us to carry on serving the community at the time we are most needed,” added Ken Gill, chief officer at RCT.

“This most welcome support will help ensure that Ryedale Community Transport comes through this crisis and can continue to improve, enhance and enrich the quality of life for so many residents.”

Sight Support Ryedale, based in Norton, supports the blind and partially-sighted, by providing social, practical and emotional support.

“We are a self-funded charity relying wholly on grant funding and donations,” said a spokesperson from Sight Support Ryedale.

“Sight loss can be a very isolating condition, especially in rural areas such as Ryedale, therefore we are delighted to receive funding from the National Lottery to deliver Covid Emergency support services to our visually impaired community.