19th Mar 2020
The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland today announced that Newcastle Building Society has become the first major donor to the Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund launched yesterday.
Newcastle Building Society have committed £100,000 to get help quickly to local charities and community organisations that are helping the most vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreak. This means the fund now stands at over £300,000.
Rob Williamson, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation, said:
“We are thrilled that Newcastle Building Society have made this commitment to the fund, building on their already fantastic support via their Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation. With this support we’ll be able to make more grants to reach the organisations helping vulnerable people on the ground.”
Andrew Haigh, chief executive of Newcastle Building Society said:
“The vulnerable right across our region will be hit hard by the impact of coronavirus. Individuals, families and groups will need significant support over the next few months. We hope that our participation and contribution will increase the benefits the funding can bring to those who need it most and will serve to strengthen communities under pressure at this difficult time.”
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 the Community Foundation will choose organisations based on its 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 the Community Foundation 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 the Community Foundation’s newsletter via its website.
While the Community Foundation is not handling donations of goods or offers of volunteer support though the Fund, it is making information available on its website about other ways people and businesses can give, such as supporting local foodbanks, if they are unable to support the Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund with a cash donation.