Foundation continues to support local communities

Money distributed to charities during lockdown.

Following the launch of its Coronavirus Resilience Fund last month, Heart of England Community Foundation has distributed over £542,000 to local charities and community programmes across the region. A designated pot created specifically to support local projects that are having to adapt, modify or pivot to survive COVID-19, the Foundation’s latest fund has already benefitted 28 projects in Coventry.

From Sutton to Stratford, the Foundation has supported a wide range of causes since its urgent appeal launched. The fund has already benefitted over 180 charities and projects across the West Midlands and Warwickshire, by awarding grants ranging up to £3,000.

Coventry’s charities and community programmes have so far received a combined £91, 883 from Heart of England Community Foundation’s Coronavirus Resilience Fund, including the likes of Willenhall Community Forum, Holbrooks Community Care Association and Langar Aid.

Carriers of Hope has also received £3,000 and will be using the grant to continue providing a delivery service of essential items, such as blankets and baby food to refugees and asylum seekers in Coventry.

Commenting on the support received from Heart of England Community Foundation, Kate Wilson from Carriers of Hope, says: “The grant has enabled us to buy essentials for refugees and asylum seekers in Coventry including cleaning material, emergency hobs, food and other essentials for those in the community who rely on our support. Without the grant we’d have had to refuse support to many of the families we’re helping.

“It’s very important that grant makers are adaptable, especially at a time like this, where charities and the community were not prepared. Last week we supported 72 families with deliveries!”

Since the launch, the Foundation has been inundated with over 300 funding applications. As many people self-isolate in line with the Government’s public health and safety guidelines, those already in vulnerable situations are now dependent on external support from local outreach programmes to access basic necessities such as food and toiletries.

This significant spike in demand, combined with new jurisdiction that changes the way many local community groups operate, means that relief funding like this are paramount for them to remain both safe and operational.

Tina Costello, Chief Executive at Heart of England Community Foundation, says: “The support we’ve received so far has been truly wonderful and I cannot express my gratitude enough to those who have already donated to the Resilience Fund. Following its launch last month, we have received a huge volume of applications from communities who are reliant on receiving essential financial aid. However, in order to continue support the vulnerable people during this time of need, we still need help from those across the region who are able to donate what they can.

“We’re eager to continue taking action during this pandemic and, whilst I appreciate that some people are tightening their belts due to the uncertainty, this is all about helping our most vulnerable neighbours. We’re so pleased to have been able to distribute £542,000 in grants so far, but this is just the beginning!”

The Foundation has also awarded a number of large grants to four indispensable charities whose services are important to many communities across the region. Compton Care in Wolverhampton, Coventry Haven’s Women Aid, and Birmingham based SIFA Fireside all received £30,000 and Green Lane Mosque & Community Centre, also in Birmingham, were awarded £10,000, all in order to ensure that they can continue to deliver the great services that meet community need.

More information about the funding and how to apply can be found here. To contribute to the fund, visit Giving.