It’s at times like these that we are reminded that community really matters, and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) has been working in partnership with the National Emergencies Trust (NET) to award the first round of emergency funding to local community and voluntary groups. Grant funding has been awarded to help those suffering hardship as a result of the coronavirus crisis and HIWCF’s in-depth knowledge of local needs and priorities means grants can quickly be distributed across the region to reach the most vulnerable.

A grant of £32,000 has been awarded to Action Hampshire, for a co-ordinated response from five local voluntary services: Rushmoor Voluntary Services, Unity Test Valley Community Services, Hart Voluntary Action, One Community Services Eastleigh and Basingstoke Voluntary Action.

Caroline Winchurch, Chief Executive at Hart Voluntary Action said “The NET funding provided through HIWCF has been invaluable in helping us ensure that we are able to support all our volunteers in the community to use their own cars to pick up shopping or prescriptions, or use their mobile data to stay in contact with some of our most vulnerable residents by phone or virtually. This means we are not turning away people who want to volunteer, but who might be worried about the costs. We’ve already been able to match up a virtual “gardening buddy” with a young woman with learning difficulties, who is at home because her parents have to self-isolate”.

Jean Roberts-Jones, Chief Executive of One Community added “This funding allows us to buy much needed groceries for people who are self-isolating in the community – older people, those with multiple health conditions or those simply unable to cope with this new situation, thank you so much – from me, my Trustees and the people we are helping”.

 Jonathan Cheshire OBE, HIWCF Chairman commented “Coronavirus is impacting massively on the charitable sector and HIWCF is perfectly placed to distribute this emergency funding to the local groups that are working directly with the people hit hardest by the crisis. The willingness of local volunteers to help those less fortunate is inspirational and is making a huge difference to those in need.”

Jonathan continued… “Time is of the essence and more help for the most vulnerable is needed right now, with Hampshire unfortunately demonstrating a particularly high number of confirmed Covid19 diagnoses. We are asking local residents, families and businesses to help our local communities by donating to to support the HIWCF ‘We’re All Together’ Fund.”

Community organisations can apply for emergency grant funding from the HIWCF website here: