The Somerset Coronavirus Appeal, launched by Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) to fund local charities and community organisations supporting those in most urgent need during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, has grown to over £275,000 in just over a week.
The incredible sum has come from donations from local individuals, charitable trusts and businesses, and was boosted by funding from a national appeal, run by The National Emergencies Trust (NET) in partnership with the British Red Cross. An additional £107,000 was added to the pot from existing funds managed by SCF on behalf of donors across the county.
Justin Sargent, Chief Executive at SCF, said: “Grants worth £100,000 have already been awarded to 39 local good causes across the county, including those supporting food projects, older people and mental health. More funding is going out every day to local charities and organisations reaching those in urgent need, thanks to the generosity of the donors who have given to our appeal.
“We’re working hard to get funding out to groups that are responding directly to needs that have arisen because of the outbreak of the coronavirus. In the initial stages we’ve been proactively contacting organisations that we already know. As the Fund grows we plan to soon broaden the scope to invite other charities and community organisations to apply.
“I am extremely grateful to my team for rising to the challenge while going through our own rapid re-organisation to homeworking.”
The local appeal was launched on Thursday, March 19, and local individuals, trusts, businesses and organisations including Somerset County Council have all generously donated, while an initial £50,000 has been received from NET.
The chair of the NET, Richard Dannatt, said: “It is a fantastic achievement and testament to the generosity of the British public, business and charitable foundations that within a week we managed to raise £13m – and get £2.5m out very quickly to those who need it most.
“Local community foundations are now allocating money to local charities who are best placed to help those in the greatest need. At present it seems as if the delivery of food to the vulnerable and elderly is the highest priority, and those supplies are now flowing.”
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 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.