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Coronavirus Disaster Relief Fund appeal for Hertfordshire

We've launched this fund to help small charities and community organisations help vulnerable people most affected by the social and economic impact of the coronavirus.

For the last 30 years, HCF has played an instrumental role in supporting Hertfordshire's communities, and the recent developments surrounding Coronovirus (Covid-19) will create unprecedented challenges for our voluntary sector.
HCF is now urgently raising funds to support voluntary groups providing care and support for elderly and vulnerable people hit by the social and economic impact of the coronavirus.

The new Coronavirus Disaster Relief Fund appeal for Hertfordshire will allow us to rapidly deploy resources to community-based organsiations so that they can help vulnerable people to weather the short and long-term impacts of the outbreak.

Donations will be targeted, in the form of grants, at local charities supporting local people facing a range of social issues including social isolation, food poverty, poverty and poor mental health.

To help HCF help our much-needed voluntary sector at this time you can make an online donation here:

DONATE NOW

Alternatively, donations can be made electronically:
Account name: Hertfordshire Community Foundation
Sort Code: 60-10-39
Account Number: 28592379

Charities and community groups working to support those affected can apply to the fund here

Below are some quotes from organisations that we have been able to support so far:

We are immensely grateful for HCF’s financial support during these unprecedented times. The crisis has impacted many of our people and we are doing all we can to support them during this period. We have very little work now but what we do have is deemed “essential”. We are proud to be able to help our customers to continue their business and happy that we have been able retain a skeleton staff to deliver this. Whilst observing social distancing and having strict procedures in place to make sure they are working in a safe environment, this work has given those service users some semblance of normality to help their mental health and wellbeing. The wage costs of the Workshop are only partially covered by our commercial work and we rely on fundraising and donations to bridge the gap. This grant has gone some way in helping to ease the burden for those not furloughed and we cannot thank HCF enough for this help.
Gill Nightingale, Partnership Manager, Watford Workshop
We are delighted to be in receipt of a grant towards us helping more people who are experiencing domestic abuse by providing additional counselling sessions for those in need who can't get out of the house because of COVID19 lockdown.  
Sandra M. Conte, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Future Living
Your grant will make a huge difference to us as we work on such fine margins with our finances.  We would have to deliver nearly 20,000 hours of care to generate this spare money to help protect ourselves.  The bio-fogging machine has already been used to disinfect all our services and this type of deep clean costs approx £500 per service and we have done six already.  The safety comes from spraying a very fine electrostatic mist, containing a virucidal chemical, that sticks to all surfaces and dries within 10 min.  We can deep clean a service in one hour, compared to two staff cleaning for four hours, so the pressure has been eased greatly on our front line staff for this element

Lastly it gives our team another sense that we are taking their safety and our service users safety very seriously.

Again thank you for your support.
Jon Pratten, CEO, Jubilee House Care Trust
We are so grateful for this grant from Hertfordshire Community Foundation. Our work has changed rapidly as we have responded to the coronavirus crisis. Aware that people living on the streets were particularly vulnerable, we worked closely with Watford Borough Council, One YMCA and Dean Russell MP to find temporary accommodation for over 60 individuals who needed somewhere safe and secure to stay. We are now providing daily support to these people - three meals a day as well as crucial support with mental health and substance and alcohol misuse. This huge increase in our work is only possible through the kind and generous donations of our community. We'd like to say thank you to the Hertfordshire Community Foundation and all who have given so generously.
Watford New Hope Trust
Absolutely delighted to have received the money from HCF and this is going to make a significant difference to us over the coming months. The word ‘unprecedented’ is being repeated across the globe at the moment, and we have certainly never experienced such disruption to our business and charitable aims as we currently face. With the loss of almost 70% of our income virtually overnight, it is only with the support of organisations such as HCF that we will be able to look to be in a position to help Hertfordshire’s homeless population in the years to come.
Not only will this money help us to cover the cost of the food we need in our community in St Albans but it will also mean we are able to give back to the wider local community. We are delighted to be assisting the Foodbank with their distribution to those in even more need, and also to assist several local organisations who we are working with to establish them in accommodation by providing furniture for their empty properties.
John Chesters, Emmaus Hertfordshire
As a charity run preschool the majority of our children are from low income families. Some will not have the play resources available to them to support their learning, especially at a time when most are struggling to feed their families. This grant has allowed us to provide packs filled with learning and development opportunities to provide joy at a difficult time and hopefully stabilise the poverty gap during lock-down.
Sophie, Little Angel Pre-School
“We are so grateful for the funding from Hertfordshire Community Foundation, which will enable us to support several Hertfordshire families via weekly 1:1 video conferencing – replacing our face-to-face Home-Visiting Service during this difficult time. This is a lifeline for families who already were coping with isolation and mental health issues before the crisis. Being able to see and talk to someone online alleviates some of these feelings of being alone and families have said that it is good to feel that someone cares.

Many parents have been feeling as though they are failing due to placing high expectations on themselves about what they 'should' be doing every day. Volunteers have been able to reassure parents and support them to accept what they can and can't do in such an unusual situation and also to help parents to focus on how to care for and be kind to themselves, and the importance of protecting their own mental health.

Families have said it is a highlight knowing they are going to be talking to their volunteer and helps them get through the week.”
Sarah Mascall, Home-Start Royston, Buntingford & South Cambridgeshire
The Hitchin Food Provision Team was formed to support families with children when the Covid-19 crisis emerged. We are doing this through providing supermarket vouchers to families who have found themselves in financial difficulty because of the crisis. Referrals are made through schools in Hitchin, the team at Hitchin Partnership are calling families each week to provide support and provide a voucher where it is needed. This grant has made a real difference to families and for some has come just at the right time.
Hitchin Partnership, Hitchin Volunteer Army, Hitchin Youth Trust, Zeo Church, Rotary Club of Hitchin, Tilehouse, Hitchin Round Table
We are extremely grateful to HCF for the recent grant. We were in desperate need of IT equipment, & the money will enable us to set up five more of our volunteers for home working. Demand has increased at the same time as we have had to close our offices; this grant means we can support more local residents who are suffering hardship as a result of COVID-19.
Catherine Bennett, Citizens Advice North Hertfordshire
We have had to dramatically change the way we work, for a small charity this is incredibly difficult, there is always a worry about how to keep the charity going, but HCF's financial support has meant that we are able to continue to support vulnerable babies and their parents at a scary time.
Seyi Yusuff, Olivebranch Network
Thank you so much for the emergency grant which enabled us to get Perspex screens in place so that Tewin Stores Community shop could reopen to customers. We had been keeping the people of Tewin - many of whom are in self isolation - supplied with newspapers, fresh vegetables and household essentials, however it was HCF’s grant support that enabled us to keep our doors open. The funding was arranged and put in place within a week which was absolutely marvelous.
Eleanor, Tewin Stores Community Shop
‘Our grant from HCF will help us to stay in contact with our families, while we are unable to run our Playschemes. Many families are struggling with caring for their disabled child, as they do not have their usual support or any respite time."
Helen Smith, CHIPS Playschemes
"During the Covid19 pandemic, more WTRRP families than ever are facing hardship & struggling to put food on the table. Our grateful thanks to HCF for their support at this time of crisis."
Marie-Jo Churchill, WTRRP Volunteer Co-ordinator

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