Cumbria Community Foundation is one of the 46 local community foundations across the country that will be distributing grants to front line charities to help them respond to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Emergencies Trust launched an appeal to raise funds to help community foundations to make those grants to local charities. With the nation’s businesses and major charitable trusts stepping forward, that appeal has raised almost £11m, and Cumbria Community Foundation has received a £50,000 share. That money will be used alongside the Cumbria COVID-19 Response Fund that the foundation administers which, due to the generous donations from charitable trusts and generous individuals, now stands at just over £500,000.
Chief Executive Officer of Cumbria Community Foundation Andy Beeforth said, “The national appeal launched by the National Emergencies Trust will distribute money raised through community foundations, including Cumbria Community Foundation. This funding will be in addition to grants we award from our own Cumbria Covid-19 Response Fund. The generosity shown so far will ensure that we get through this unprecedented time with the most vulnerable people in Cumbria cared for and supported.”
The Foundation has been inundated with enquiries for funding and the first grants will be distributed early next week. Those grants will be made to charitable projects across Cumbria that are supporting people affected by COVID-19, particularly those who are at risk from the virus, helping to keep them safe and supported in their homes, and reducing pressure on the NHS.
A number of applications have already been received from local community response groups. New and existing groups are supporting the community across Cumbria. With the help of a grant from the fund, one group in a rural area of 3,000 residents will offer support to those self-isolating. That support may change as the situation develops, but will include picking up shopping, posting mail, dog walking, collecting prescriptions, and making befriending phone calls.
Smaller groups are also applying; one application is for a ‘Chit Chat’ phone service for a Craft Group for the visually impaired. The COVID-19 virus restrictions mean that this vulnerable group cannot meet for their usual regular face-to-face sessions right now and this phone service will be an opportunity for them to maintain contact and combat isolation.
In response to COVID-19, the Foundation has already helped support the website: https://supportcumbria.org.uk with a grant of £1,000. The website provides a central point to help coordinate volunteering efforts to support Cumbria residents who may need help. The website can help you find local organisations to register an interest with volunteering in your community.
The Foundation is aware that many people and businesses will be struggling financially, however, for those that are able and would like to donate to the Fund, they can visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/Cumbria-Covid19-Response-Fund
or contact 01900 825760. The Fund is dedicated to Cumbria and provides a focus for charitable trusts, companies and other organisations who wish to support the community and charity response in the county.
For further information about The National Emergencies Trust appeal to raise funds to help local charities across the country please visit: https://nationalemergenciestrust.org.uk/coronavirus
For groups wanting to enquire about funding, they should visit: https://www.cumbriafoundation.org/fund/covid19-response-fund.