Emergency fund helps thousands of people in need across Lancashire

A Lancashire emergency fund created to help people in need during the Covid-19 emergency has given out more than £760,000 across the county.

The Lancashire Covid-19 Community Support Fund was set up in April to respond to the massive challenges faced by many across Lancashire in the face of the coronavirus emergency. It aims to raise £1million overall.

The Community Foundation for Lancashire (CFL) – which is managing all donations received to the Fund, ensuring they reach the most vulnerable people affected by the coronavirus – is working in partnership with the National Emergencies Trust (NET) and Lancashire Resilience Forum.

So far, £760,970 has been donated. This is broken down as £536,580 from the National Emergency Trust plus £220k coming from local authorities who form the Lancashire Resilience Forum, with partners including police, fire and health. Further donations have come through online giving and direct donations from the public.

Up to the end April the fund had distributed £409,702 to more than 107 community organisations and groups on the frontline where people need help the most.

The Fund is awarding grants to support community organisations providing vital services like foodbanks, delivery of food and care packages to vulnerable people, telephone and online services offering friendship and support to help reduce isolation, emotional, mental health and domestic violence support and financial inclusion, support to access benefits and debt advice to name but a few.

The impact on communities across Lancashire, and its most vulnerable residents, is expected to have an effect in the long term as people’s lives continue to be affected in many ways. Donations are still being sought from anybody that can help – whether that be businesses or individuals.

Rae Brooke, Chief Executive for the Community Foundation for Lancashire, said: “The Lancashire COVID-19 Community Support Fund has already had a far-reaching impact, supporting community and voluntary organisations on the frontline helping the most vulnerable across the county. That includes foodbanks delivering supplies to those in need, charitable groups providing assistance for  people with physical and learning disabilities and organisations offering vital support for the elderly and socially isolated.

“The detrimental impact of this emergency, afflicting the most vulnerable in our community, will be evident for many months to come. This is why we continue to call on those, with the capacity to do so, to donate to the Lancashire COVID-19 Community Support Fund.”

Denise Park, Chief Executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council, on behalf of LRF, said: “This response is wonderful and shows a huge willingness across sectors and the public to help the most vulnerable people in our communities during this incredibly challenging time. This is a rally positive move and shows that working together in partnership to help is truly one of our greatest strengths as a county.

“Keeping these vital services going and growing is hugely important during this crisis, and as we start to transition to the next phases, and helps those who need it most. Any projects and organisations who have not yet done so should get in touch – we are here to help you.”

Further details on how to donate can be found here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/lancashirecovid19

Organisations can apply for grants by visiting:  https://lancsfoundation.org.uk/funds/lancashire-covid-19-community-support-fund

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