By Leah Conway
Kirklees based charities have been awarded half a million pounds from the One Community Foundation’s Coronavirus Response Fund.
The One Community Foundation is an independent grant-making charity. They have distributed more than 150 grants, and there are more to come.
The Kirklees Coronavirus Response fund was established in April. Various individuals, businesses, and other charitable trusts including the National Emergencies Trust donated to the fund.
Many charities and voluntary organisation have stepped up in the Coronavirus pandemic to provide essential care and services. The One Community Foundation has helped to support many of these services.
Emma Woods-Bolger from the One Community Foundation said: “For the past ten years, One Community has been at the heart of the community in Kirklees. Even before the crisis, One Community had awarded over a million pounds to local charities.
“Because of our previous experience, we knew charities and community groups were going to play a key part in the response to the crisis, and we were determined to stand together with them and the communities we serve during the Coronavirus crisis.
“The scale of the situation means we must continue to act. We must pull together and get funding to our vital charitable organisations. The recovery from this crisis will be hard, we all know that, but imagine how much harder it would be without those charities.”
The Purpose of Life Charity has been helped by the Kirklees Coronavirus Response Fund. Thanks to a grant of £5000 they have been able to provide food parcels and essentials to support the elderly and vulnerable during the pandemic.
Sajad Hussain from the Purpose of Life charity said: “The funding from One Community Foundation was a tremendous help as it enabled the charity to step-up to continue to pay for the costs of making and distributing the food parcels, as reliance upon food parcels increased over the lock-down period.
“The additional funding ensured that we could continue to provide the support by delivering between 15-25 parcels a day, seven days a week as part of the Covid-19 response.”
The Denby Dale Centre also received support from the One Community Foundation, which helped them deal with an increased demand for its service.
Paul Jones, the Chief Officer of The Denby Dale Centre, says: “The Coronavirus crisis led us to change nearly all of our 20 projects in Kirklees. Our transport team turned into a web-logistics team, processing food orders, prescription collection requests, dog walkers, and buddying up people for the phone chatterbox service.
“Our volunteer coordinator processed, and safeguard checked over 250 new volunteers in the first month. Our activities team became call handlers, either taking calls from people requesting help or calling existing members to make sure they were okay and connected.
“Our Training Manager has turned to a film director and producer and created a series of distance learning videos for volunteers.
“We have received calls from people reaching out for someone to simply talk to. One caller had recently lost her husband and was still grieving and was struggling with being on her own.
“Another caller was 20 weeks pregnant and had not eaten for over 20 hours and reached out to our emergency food order – we delivered a much-needed food parcel next morning – this lady was on her own and broke down in tears of relief that help was nearby.
“We have been contacted from London, Suffolk, and Essex, where sons and daughters of our local older people are arranging food orders for their parents.
“One lady wrote to us and said ‘You’ve just made a grown woman cry with relief. I can’t thank you and your volunteers enough for the work that you are doing. I will pass your information on to my mum. Thank you.’
“Another said ‘I just wanted to say a big thank you. My wife was getting rather concerned about our situation and is particularly grateful to all the Volunteers and DDC for coming to our rescue and keeping us going throughout the weekend.’”