New funding launched to help community organisations at risk of closure
We have launched a Response and Resilience Fund to support our network of community centres, many of whom are at risk of closure due to funding issues caused by the current coronavirus crisis.
With 11.9 million people in the UK lacking the essential digital skills they need, and many of us relying on getting online more than ever before, the issues of digital exclusion have never been more relevant.
The £300,000 fund will offer £3,000 per community partner in the form of a one-off grant to be used for any purpose that ensures organisations can continue supporting their communities to engage with digital. The unrestricted funding, the first of its kind funding from Good Things Foundation, will provide a cash injection to the centres who need it the most.
The grant will allow organisations to put the funding to best use to enable their delivery to continue, and to ensure they are in a position to reopen their physical doors once the current challenges subside – although many are continuing to deliver their services on a virtual basis where possible.
Many of our hyperlocal community partners are facing very challenging times with the spread of coronavirus impacting not only the work they do but also the people they support.
One organisation who is continuing to deliver services during these difficult times is Leeds Cross Gates and District Good Neighbours’ Scheme CIO, a local charity working with older people to reduce loneliness and isolation and support independence.
An example of someone they’re supporting is Marie, who is 79 and used to be a teacher. She has been widowed for 18 months and lives alone. She was recently given a smart phone which she didn’t feel motivated to use, but with support from staff she is now using it to join Zoom calls, virtual coffee mornings and to video call her grandchildren.
She says: “When you live alone it’s hard. When you pull the blinds down at night it’s very lonely and the nights are long. It’s great to have something like these virtual activities to look forward to and to see other people, even if they are on the screen! I feel so much better getting up when I know I have a virtual event coming up because I have a reason to get up and get dressed up for the day.”
Helen Milner, Chief Executive of Good Things Foundation says: “Over the last few weeks we’ve been reaching out to our community partners to find out what we can do to help and to learn more about the pressures they are facing. We’ve listened to their concerns and we hope by acting quickly we can make a difference. The fund will help to alleviate some of the severe operational and financial pressures that organisations are experiencing – and will help them to be able to continue to support the people in our communities who need it most.”