CCF is unique amongst Community Foundations in that it runs Crisis Funding all year round. Various trusted groups throughout the County hold pots of money to help individuals on the front line of crisis, at the very minute that they need it. This is regularly reported on and the reserves topped up accordingly. This gives us an exceptional relationship with grassroots organisations in Cornwall who deal with those in crisis.
We were, therefore, very well placed to roll this out to the Emergency Fund quickly and efficiently and were already proactively approaching key organisations, to offer funding, even before the lockdown was announced.
The £100,000 we received from Cornwall Council early on was a game changer and – I am certain – spurred on many others to contribute. We received this money on the 27th March and had allocated all of it by the 27th April 2020. The recipients were many and varied, ranging from Foodbanks, Community Centres and voluntary organisations providing community kitchens and essential services to those self- isolating and shielding. All of these organisations have had to adapt to meet the needs of their beneficiaries and we accommodate them in any way we can. Many have lost up to 90% of their volunteers as they are over 70 or have underlying health conditions and almost all of their regular food and cash donations have all but disappeared.
To give you an example – we funded Disability Cornwall, at the very start of lockdown, for a project in which they anticipated they would need to provide 40 people with healthy meals and provisions. They, as many others discovered, vastly underestimated the community need and soon realised that their clientele numbered over 300! Thanks to the Cornwall Council donation we were able to offer a further £5,000 in funding and we still have additional funds available should they need it going forward.
We have dozens more stories to share, since the start of the lockdown we have distributed over £438,000 in Emergency and Crisis funding, to hundreds of groups, benefitting thousands of individuals.
We need you to encourage groups in your particular area to apply for funding. We have tried to make the application process as simple as possible, with many differing ways in which groups, both constituted and unconstituted can apply. You are the eyes and ears where we cannot be and in tune with your communities at grass roots level, therefore ideally placed to point people in our direction. Our team at CCF may all be home-working, but it is business as usual as regards advice and help that we regularly give to applicants, so please encourage people to ask. We really do want to help as many people as we can to get through this terrible time and the economic and social impact that will undoubtedly be with us for some time.
Please do all you can to help us reach as many people as possible.
With grateful thanks
Grants Manager, Cornwall Community Foundation