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Somerset Coronavirus Appeal offers grants for groups helping people in need

Thursday 9th April, 2020

The Somerset Coronavirus Appeal, launched by Somerset Community Foundation (SCF), is offering fast-tracked funding for all local charities, community organisations and volunteer groups helping those in most urgent need during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Grants up to £10,000 are available, and SCF pledges to award funding within three working days.

Grants worth £136,000 have already been awarded to 60 local good causes across the county, including those supporting food projects, older people and mental health, with more funding going out every day to local charities and organisations reaching the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Justin Sargent, Chief Executive at SCF explains: “We’ve already made a large number of grants to groups we know, or have funded previously, to help those responding directly to the needs of their communities. We know many new groups are being created to respond to urgent needs, and others we may not have funded before will be doing vital work to keep people safe and well. We want to encourage those groups to apply to us so we can get funding where it’s needed most.

Any groups wishing to apply should visit the SCF website, where they can complete a short, simple application form for grants up to £10,000: www.somersetcf.org.uk/coronavirus

The funding has been made available thanks to generous contributions made to the Somerset Coronavirus Appeal by local individuals, charitable trusts and businesses, as well as funding from the national appeal, run by The National Emergencies Trust (NET). The Somerset Coronavirus Appeal, which was first launched on Thursday 19 March, now stands at £385,000[amount correct as at 07/04/2020].

Fair Frome, a local poverty relief charity, received an urgent grant from SCF to help them respond to unprecedented demand for their foodbank as a result of coronavirus.

Bob Ashford, the charity’s Chair, said: “We’re using the funding to put in place new initiatives. Our immediate issue is that we are facing a three-fold increase in demand for food, and it’s become very hard to source the key items we need as many of our volunteers are older people and are self-isolating. We’re starting to buy the food we can’t source through donations, and we’ll be issuing additional food vouchers that people can use at the local fruit and veg shop.

“At this very difficult time, this funding from Somerset Community Foundation is an absolute lifeline. Without our service and this grant there are people who would go hungry.”

SCF is passionate about doing as much as possible to support our communities, and is encouraging local people, businesses, charitable trusts and organisations who feel able to donate to the Somerset Coronavirus Appeal by visiting the SCF website:www.somersetcf.org.uk/appeal

To support the national NET appeal, please visit: www.nationalemergenciestrust.org.uk/coronavirus

Community Foundations are local champions, connecting people and organisations that want to improve their communities. They invest in local people and organisations tackling some of the biggest issues facing communities today and supporting some of society’s most disadvantaged people. They provide help and advice to those who want to give at the heart of their communities, both now and in the long-term, by matching donors to important local causes.

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