176 community groups and charities have so far benefitted from the Covid-19 Response Fund set up in response to the ongoing pandemic. This is the latest crisis fund set up by SYCF in recent months, following the South Yorkshire Flood Disaster Relief Appeal launched in November 2019 in response to the devastating flooding to parts of the region which raised over £1.2 million to help affected households.
Groups have received funding to cover the cost of emergency and essential supplies for those most in need across South Yorkshire during lockdown. This has ranged from essential food parcels and prescriptions pick up and delivery to phone and online befriending services as well as activity packs for those in isolation.
Mike Sawkins from Cavendish Cancer Care said in response to receiving funding from SYCF:
“This is fantastic news, thank you so much! And please do pass my thanks on to the panel and everyone involved in reaching this decision to support our work. I can assure you, this will make a real difference to the lives of families facing all the uncertainty, anxiety and disruption caused by cancer, on top of the uncertainty, anxiety and disruption caused by Covid-19 and social distancing.”
Rotherham Muslim Community Forum also received funding support for volunteers to deliver weekly Ramadhan food parcels to families. One recipient said:
“My wife and 3 children, as a family we have been living in temporary accommodation miles away from any cultural places such as halal stores. I also lost my cash-in-hand job just before the lockdown and it has been particularly difficult financially. Muhafiz Ramadhan food packs will at least see us through the Ramadhan month with basic essentials. We really appreciate the kindness from all those involved.”
The funding has been raised in partnership with the National Emergencies Trust (NET) Coronavirus Appeal and thanks to the generosity of local donors also. £1.1 million has been raised in total so far, with more regularly being distributed by the South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation team.
Chief Executive of SYCF, Ruth E Willis said:
“We have always been amazed by the positive impact local community groups and charities have in South Yorkshire. Now they have proven even more just how dedicated they are to helping local people. They have been vital during this pandemic and it has been incredible to witness and support.
“The funding, which we are still distributing has been a lifeline for these organisations and has enabled them to support those affected by this crisis most. The Covid-19 Response Fund is still open and we are continuing to encourage groups to apply for funding support.”