18th Mar 2020

The Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland

Today we launched the Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund to get help quickly to local charities and community organisations that are helping the most vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Community Foundation has put in £200,000 to kick-start the Fund. We are now asking the public, businesses and other funders to contribute, with plans for the first wave of grants to be made by the end of the month. We are hoping donations will double the initial amount, so we can support as many groups across communities as possible, for as long as possible.

Rob Williamson, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation, said:

“For over 30 years we have been helping brilliant small, local charities and community organisations across Tyne & Wear and Northumberland through the generosity of our region’s donors. With the coronavirus outbreak, many people and businesses want to know what more they can do to help.

“With this fund, we’ll use our knowledge to reach the organisations helping vulnerable people on the ground. And we’ll support charitable groups recover from the impact of the outbreak on their own work and income. We hope people come on board with us to help build the funds available. If anyone wants to contribute, I encourage them to get in touch with us, or give via the JustGiving page for the Fund.”

Funding will be initially awarded to organisations providing services and support to older and vulnerable people as well as those with low and insecure incomes, including people on universal credit or working in the ‘gig economy’. Funding will also support activities for school-age children in less well-off communities where schools have closed.

As time is critical, with grants hoped to be awarded by the end of March, for this round of funding we will choose organisations based on our expert knowledge of charities working in the region.

In a second stage, the Fund will support a wider group of local charities and community organisations whose operations and finances have been affected, so they can recover and continue their activities once the outbreak eases. This will be via an application process that we will release details of in the coming weeks. For updates on this and other funds that may be available, people are advised to sign up to our newsletter.

Williamson added:

“It’s important that the money gets to groups helping vulnerable people now and in the coming weeks. But we must look ahead, because our area’s brilliant charities and community organisations will need support to get back on their feet after the outbreak eases so they can keep up their vital work.”

We are hoping to award the first wave of grants from the Fund by the end of March.

While the Community Foundation is not handling donations of goods or offers of volunteer support though the Fund, we have also listed other ways people and businesses can give, if they are unable to support the Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund with a cash donation. 

For full details of the fund and relevant links please click here


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