Local charities and community organisations working with vulnerable people affected by Covid-19 have received a share of more than £1 million.
Cumbria Community Foundation launched the Cumbria Covid-19 Response Fund 13 weeks ago to help people during the coronavirus crisis, and since then £780,000 has been awarded. A further £311,000 from various other funds within the foundation has also been awarded to help communities respond quickly to meet the challenges resulting from the pandemic.
The one million pounds has been used to support 138 charitable and community organisations across Cumbria to help them continue to operate and provide services, which for many people are a lifeline.
Many of the organisations – most run by an army of volunteers – have had to make changes to the services they operate to ensure they can deliver help to the most vulnerable in local communities in their time of need.
Some have had to move services online while others have had to upscale the help they provide as the number of people needing their support grows.
Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “From food poverty to mental health, we are supporting communities where they need it the most. The efforts of local causes to get food and essentials to those that most need them has been one human triumph through the coronavirus crisis.
“Thanks to the commitment of our small local causes and so many people’s generous donations, many more people are getting support.”
For lots of communities, collaborating with other organisations helps them to respond quicker and more efficiently to local needs.
In response to the coronavirus crisis, local authorities are linking into these collaborative networks to facilitate emergency support.
The Covid-19 national emergency makes the lifeline that charities have long provided seem ever more relevant. It shines a light on the resourcefulness of charities, particularly when confronted with immense and unprecedented challenge.
Mr Beeforth added: “Since the start of lockdown, the Community Foundation and many of the charities we support have been working at full throttle, to offer a support to vulnerable people affected by the virus. We’re delighted to have hit the £1 million grants awarded milestone but there is still so much more to do.
“As time goes on, it is clear that the effects of this crisis will be with us for many months, if not years, to come. We are now moving into the next phase of our work and supporting communities to recover from the immediate crisis and meet their longer-term changing needs.”
The Cumbria COVID-19 Response Fund has almost £1.5 million with funds donated by local businesses including BAE, Iggesund Paperboard, Booths and Lakeland Limited alongside donations from the National Emergencies Trust appeal and many individuals.
Cumbria Community Foundation is continuing to raise funds to help those who need support as a result of the pandemic – now and in the future. To donate to the fund visit: www.cumbriafoundation.org