A fund which has been set up to help Hertfordshire’s charities respond to unprecedented challenges brought about by coronavirus has already provided grants of over £25, 000 to local voluntary and charitable groups.
Since it was launched one week ago, Hertfordshire Community Foundation’s Coronavirus Disaster Relief Fund has received more than 50 applications from local charities and grassroots community projects. Another 30 applications are also known to be in progress.
Helen Gray Foundation Director for Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF) said, “Many people are suffering, not just physically due to ill health, but also economically and socially. We are proud to be playing a role in making sure donations to support those in need get to where they are needed most in our community, as quickly as possible. This is why we setup the Coronavirus Disaster Relief Fund, to provide rapid support to local charities in this incredibly challenging time”.
The first grants from HCF’s Coronavirus Disaster Relief Fund have been awarded to:
- Mediation Hertfordshire - £2,000 to support ten referrals (from police or the NHS) for telephone counselling and conflict coaching for vulnerable families, including those experiencing domestic violence. [Dacorum]
- Carers in Hertfordshire - £2,000 to contribute to their remote support service which is targeted at their most vulnerable carers who cannot now benefit from face to face support and respite services. These include those who are themselves over 70 or with underlying health issues, in addition to young carers at home from school. [East Hertfordshire]
- Age Concern Bishops Stortford - £2,000 to ensure that none of the local vulnerable are overlooked during this crisis by supporting volunteers to undertake welfare checks, shopping and prescription delivery services and telephone befriending. [East Hertfordshire]
- Royston & District Community Transport - £2,000 to support the isolated and elderly in the Royston area by volunteers providing free transport for hospital visits and delivery of prescriptions and food. [North Hertfordshire]
- Herts Disability Sports Foundation - £2,000 to adapt their classes to be delivered via interactive video so they can see the participants. They will be able to support five adults with learning disabilities and physical disabilities per session and will run five sessions a day to up to 150 participants a week, keeping people active and maintaining well-being and social contact during isolation. [North Hertfordshire]
- Phoenix Children Group for Deaf Children and Young Adults - £2,000 to provide one hour a day (5 times a week) ' time to connect' online socialisation for their adult members who would normally attend their daytime services and do not have families at home who use Sign Language. [Stevenage]
- Citizen Advice Broxbourne - £2,000 to enable two advisors to be set up with encrypted laptops and phones to provide vital advice and guidance remotely. The Citizens Advice network has a key role to play in helping vulnerable clients at this time, including those who will need to apply for benefits as a result of the virus. [Broxbourne]
- Watford & District Mencap Society £2,000 to help them to remain flexible to meet the changing needs of local people with learning disabilities who are often uncertain about what to do and what the crisis means for them. They are prioritising the people they care for in their residential homes and supported living projects as many of these have no other family or friends. [Three Rivers]
- Alternatives Watford Pregnancy Crisis & Support Centre £2,000 to assist this pregnancy crisis and support centre to continue to their counselling work remotely to support to anyone facing a pregnancy related challenge, including those facing anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges in and around pregnancy and pregnancy loss. [Watford]
- Citizens Advice Welwyn Hatfield £1950 to purchase home working IT equipment for 2 advisors who are providing advice and guidance to a range of vulnerable clients including those who will need to apply for benefits as a result of the virus. [Welwyn Hatfield]
- Citizens Advice Watford £2,000 to purchase two additional home working kits for volunteers to enable them to join the team of trained advisors working at home and fielding the increasing numbers of people who need help because of health and income issues. [Watford]
- Jimmy Macs Activity Centre for Retired and Disabled People £2,000 to phone and text message the frail and elderly people who normally attend their day centre to keep them positive and identify any client that may be struggling and arrange appropriate help. [Welwyn Hatfield
On hearing that their application had been approved one of the grant recipients stated; “We are delighted to have the support of HCF and this has certainly been a light of hope that our charity will weather the Coronavirus storm!”
Helen Gray concluded; “We are so grateful to everyone who has supported our appeal so far and we are delighted that the National Emergencies Trust has boosted our appeal with a donation of £50,000 from their national appeal. This is a significant helping hand for our communities, and it is thanks to this and other generous donations that we have been able to provide such rapid support to these vital organisations who are helping elderly and vulnerable people across Hertfordshire in these challenging times.
“There are however still many more worthwhile causes that urgently need our assistance. If anyone can help and would like to make a donation of any size, the sector very much needs additional funds so we can continue to allocate grants and help those most in need.”
To donate to the Coronavirus Disaster Relief Fund CLICK HERE
The Relief Fund is currently closed and we will update when we have sufficient funds to reopen.