Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) is launching the next phase of its Somerset Coronavirus Appeal, in a bid to raise £1.5m for our communities across the county.
In the three months since the appeal was first launched [mid-March 2020], thanks to the incredible support of local donors and the National Emergencies Trust, the appeal has raised more than £800,000 for Somerset. Those donations have meant that, so far, grants worth £450,000 have been awarded to over 160 charitable groups across the county, with more being awarded every week.
Laura Blake, Development Director at SCF, said: “Since the Coronavirus outbreak, thousands of charity staff and volunteers have been working around the clock to create new services, transforming the way they work and scaling up to meet a surge in demand, all with an extremely quick turnaround. Their determination and hard work means that our most vulnerable and disadvantaged neighbours have been cared for and supported through these difficult times.
“But charities are now in an incredibly difficult position. At the same time as the usual fundraising events like dinners, sky dives and fun runs have been cancelled, the demand for their services has grown substantially. We know there’s a risk many of them will not survive without additional funding.”
Funds from the Somerset Coronavirus Appeal have already made a huge impact, helping local charitable groups and volunteers respond to urgent needs as a result of the pandemic. Somerset Community Foundation, a charity itself, was able to rapidly raise and distribute funds within a matter of days and has made six months’ worth of grants in just 10 weeks. Donations have funded a wide range of front-line projects such as food banks, help for the elderly, support for people with disabilities and projects supporting disadvantaged young people.
Laura continued: “We believe that if we can reach our target and award £1.5m in grants we, alongside other national funders, can help our local charities and community groups to weather the financial storm they’re facing now and in the future. The impact of coronavirus on our communities won’t end when lockdown is lifted. Life will be even tougher for those who are already disadvantaged.
“Small, local charities are vital to Somerset’s social fabric and we need them more than ever to help tackle this disadvantage and keep our communities strong.”
Anyone wo would like to help SCF reach its £1.5 million target can donate to the Somerset Coronavirus Appeal online at www.somersetcf.org.uk/appeal or, if that isn’t possible, by telephoning 01749 344949.
Community Foundations help passionate people to change the world on their doorstep. In partnership with local donors, they provide funding and support to help reduce disadvantage and build strong communities.