A COUNCIL boss is keeping his 'fingers crossed' that a bid for £492,000 to help his borough's residents hardest hit by coronavirus succeeds.

Hyndburn Hub has applied for the cash from the Department for Local Government's £25million Community Champions scheme.

It aims to provide targeted help to communities facing the greatest challenges from Covid-19.

Hub co-ordinator and Hyndburn Leisure chief executive Lyndsey Sims outlined the bid to this week's meeting of Hyndburn Council's Cabinet.

Borough leader Cllr Miles Parkinson said: "We are all keeping our fingers crossed."

Ms Sims said: "The fund is looking for practical solutions, including the recruitment and of community champions, to increase uptake of Covid-19 guidance particularly amongst disabled people and people from BAME communities.

" We will invest in additional short-term capacity to expand our Hub operation up to September 30.

"We will work to develop new connections between voluntary agencies and the Integrated Neighbourhood Team to deliver wrap around care to people who have had Covid, and those with learning disabilities who are particularly vulnerable to the pandemic.

"If successful the grant will implement a strategic communications campaign targetting 'hard to reach' communities including upgraded translation services.

"We would like to deliver an investment scheme to increase capacity across our community and voluntary sector to deliver a wide range of health and happiness-focused interventions.

"Earlier in the year we launched a ‘Healthy Hyndburn’ campaign which included a focus on the beautiful countryside and parks that our residents have on their doorstep.

"To inspire people to be more active and eat well, we have applied to offer free access to a 12-week lifestyle package."