Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) is partnering with the NHS and Action Hampshire to provide a fund of £100,000 to enable the charitable sector to continue to play a vital role in supporting local communities affected by coronavirus.

Voluntary organisations or community groups requiring financial support to help them respond positively to the crisis can apply for a grant from the NHS Fund on the HIWCF website:

HIWCF will be administering grants of between £1,000 to £10,000 for a wide range of support – for example, expenses for volunteers to carry out essential shopping or prescription collection trips for those at high risk of catching the virus, or supporting foodbanks to provide essential supplies and toiletry parcels for the most vulnerable. Alternatively the funds could support voluntary organisations involved in transporting essential items such as parts to build ventilators, or befrienders providing a helpline and listening ear for those self-isolating without support.

Grants will be made available to organisations and groups providing innovative and resourceful services that will support the NHS in its battle against coronavirus, by perhaps providing drop-in centres to enable medical professionals to carry out testing, or groups that can supply suitably qualified staff to enable DBS checks to be carried out on volunteers.

Grant Cornwell MBE, Chief Executive at HIWCF commented, “This vital funding from the NHS will support the smaller charities and community groups that are working incredibly hard to support local people whose lives have been impacted by coronavirus and we hope this will help some hospital beds to be freed up, and some people will be able to stay in their own homes. We are asking our network of community and charitable groups to help the NHS to make a difference, and if a small grant of £1,000 means they can keep volunteers out on the road helping vulnerable people in these unprecedented times, then this is the perfect funding for them.”

Sue Dovey, Chief Executive at Action Hampshire said “It is critical at this time to enable local voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to continue their vital work. This emergency fund will enable that to happen and Action Hampshire is delighted to support it.”

Ros Hartley, Executive Director of Strategy and Transformation for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “NHS staff have received a huge amount of gratitude and appreciation recently, and we are deeply grateful for that. But we are also acutely aware that this is a team effort, and that we need to support each other. There are so many people and organisations out there doing amazing and vital work – we wanted to make sure we were doing our bit to help them, just as they are helping our staff and the people who rely on them for care.”

HIWCF is also inviting local businesses, families and individuals to support the ‘We’re All Together’ community campaign to tackle coronavirus by making donations via the HIWCF website

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