A Lancashire emergency Fund has been created to support those in most need across the county during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
A combined £512,000 has already been pledged to the Lancashire COVID-19 Community Support Fund, with £292,000 donated by NET, with the other £220,000 coming from Local Authorities who form the Lancashire Resilience Forum with partners including police, fire and health.
The aim is to raise at least £1m to help where it is needed most.
So far, CFL has distributed £93,000 to 28 community groups and organisations on the frontline.
Yet, with the devastation to communities across Lancashire likely to be sustained over the long term, donations are being urgently sought from anybody that can help – whether that be businesses or individuals.
The Fund will award 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 and mental health support and financial inclusion, support to access benefits and debt advice.
Arthur Roberts, Chairman of the Community Foundation for Lancashire, said: “We are delighted to be managing the Lancashire COVID-19 Community Support Fund, working in partnership with the Lancashire Resilience Forum, and will ensure funding is provided where there’s most need and where it will have the greatest impact.
“Already, we have secured over £512,000 to help the most vulnerable through the support of the Lancashire Resilience Forum and National Emergencies Trust. But this is just the start as the detrimental impact of this emergency will be evident for many months to come.
“I’m sure many who have the capacity to support financially will want to do so in this exceptional time of need. If anywhere is equipped to meet that challenge head-on, I’m confident, as someone who is incredibly proud of Lancashire, that we’ll do it!”
Denise Park, Chief Executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council, on behalf of LRF, said: “This is a positive move for Lancashire. So many organisations are working hard to look after our most vulnerable people in our communities, but they can’t do it on their own. This funding will keep vital services such as foodbanks and mental health support going throughout the crisis. I would encourage any projects out there that need funding to get in touch. We have the ability to help, but are relying on people to tell us that they need it.”
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