Essex Community Foundation

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Helping local charities during the coronavirus pandemic

25th March 2020

Essex Community Foundation (ECF), a leading and independent supporter of local charities and voluntary groups, has launched a funding programme to help organisations during the coronavirus pandemic.

The purpose of the Essex Coronavirus Response and Recovery Programme is to get help quickly to voluntary and community organisations that are in crisis and need emergency funding to keep their vital services running.

ECF, together with community foundations across the UK, will also be distributing funds raised by the National Emergencies Trust.

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF, said: “We understand the significant impact that the coronavirus is having.  It is vital that we make funds available quickly for local charities and voluntary organisations that are in urgent need.  This may be to adapt their services to support people who are vulnerable or at risk and cannot leave their homes, or for essential costs, such as staff salaries and rent, if they have temporarily had to close their doors.

“The challenges faced by the sector include a rising demand for services, a reduced workforce, with staff and volunteers in self-isolation, and the loss of income due to the cancellation of fundraising events and activities.

“We already have £300,000 available for emergency grants.  Many of our existing supporters have been wonderfully generous in making additional donations or have agreed to waive the specific criteria of their funds so that we can give as much support as possible at this time.”

Grants are available now to support organisations, with priority given to those delivering vital services to older and vulnerable people, organisations helping to relieve pressure on public services and those co-ordinating a local community response. To apply for emergency funding, please click here.

ECF fundholders, Annabel and Gerald Malton, have already made an additional donation to support the Programme.  Gerald said: “The Foundation has relationships with so many local groups that are helping the most vulnerable people in our communities. These organisations need our support so they can respond now and hopefully recover from the impact that this pandemic is having on their work and the lives of their beneficiaries.

“We would encourage more people to come on board and help ECF build the funds available to support the groups that are helping people in our local communities.  Together, we can make a real difference.”

Also giving support is the Galloper Wind Farm Operations & Maintenance base in Harwich, which has been working with ECF since 2016 to manage their community fund.

Guy Middleton is the project’s General Manager. He said, “When ECF asked if we would allow them to distribute the £10,000 in our Fund at their discretion, we said yes immediately.  ECF knows the local charities and organisations that need this funding and it is important that we help them as fast as possible.”

To donate to the 'Essex Coronavirus Response and Recovery Programme' and support local groups, please visit our JustGiving page.

ECF will do its best to absorb the cost of running this programme and will take no more than a 5% fee on donations received. We strongly encourage you complete a Gift Aid form as this will boost your donation by 25% at no extra cost to you.