Covid-19 – Our service is still running

Thank you so much to everyone who has been keen to lend their support during this difficult time. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate it. These are unprecedented times for everyone and we – like most – are having to constantly review and change the way that we are working. It remains, as ever, our passion that we are here to provide the essential support needed by the most vulnerable people in our community. We are very much still here and ready to help those who need support.

Please see the latest news updates below for details on our activity and particularly if you are a referring agency and need help for a client, how to access support.

We are facing a 40% + loss in fundraising income this year, due to the cancellation of our own events, those organised by supporters and a reduction in donations. This is at the same time as we are receiving a increased number of applications for help.

However, thanks to the support of the local community, we are continuing to make a massive difference during the Covid-19 pandemic and have helped to change the lives of many vulnerable local people:

At the time of writing (2nd July) and since the start of the pandemic lock-down in March, we’ve:

  • received 774 requests for help (379 requests were from those directly impacted by the pandemic).
  • helped 1,568 people, of which 637 were children
  • distributed 1,141 essential goods worth £162,316.87 including food, clothing, beds, cookers, fridges and household items including kettles and microwaves.

• In June alone we witnessed a 17.34% rise in the number of clients needing our help.
• In the first six weeks following the lockdown, 49% of requests for help were from those directly affected by Covid-19.

We expect the number of people needing our help to continue to rise so please do keep lending your support and for those who refer clients to us for help, please continue to do so.

Many of those we have helped so far have lost their job, have found themselves unable to make ends meet on a reduced income due to being furloughed or they’ve been unable to work due to having to self-isolate for health reasons. You can read many about just some of the clients we have helped so far due to the pandemic here

If you would like to give a gift to help support more people in need during the crisis we have set up a new campaign page. Every pound really does make a difference. Due to our unique way of working, every £10 donated will help to provide £50 of essential items. If all our supporters gave a small donation, together we’d make a massive difference to local people in crisis and hardship right now. Visit the campaign page at: www.justgiving.com/campaign/charitylink  You can also donate using any of the usual methods – more information at www.charity-link.org/donate
Thank you so much – your ongoing support is very much appreciated.

(For more information about the LeicestershireLive There With You Fund click here).

 

News updates

Update 05.07.20

There With You Fund passes halfway mark

We are delighted to announce that the There With You Fund, launched with LeicestershireLive, the Leicester Mercury and with an initial donation of £96,000 from the Randal Charitable Foundation, has now passed its halfway target. The fund, launched in April, aims to raise and distribute £250,000 via the provision of essential items to those in need in Leicestershire who have been directly impacted by Covid-19. The fund now stands at over £133,000. Thanks to all the individuals, businesses, trusts and organisations who have lent their support for the fund. Thanks also to everyone who has supported our Meeting The Need campaign page. This fund is ensuring that we can continue our services, without which it would be impossible to utilise funds raised via the There With You Fund. Funds raised through the Meeting The Need campaign also ensures we can offer help to those in need but who are outside of Leicestershire (Rutland and Northamptonshire), those who have not been impacted by Covid-19 or those who need additional help (There With You Fund grants are up to a maximum of £300).

 

Update 01.05.20

New Application Form

If you are working with vulnerable people and children who are resident in Leicester & Leicestershire and in a position of exceptional hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic, then please download and complete the There With You Fund application form here. Once completed please email to info@charity-link.org with any supporting information. If you have any queries then please do no hesitate to call us on: 0116 222 2200.

For all applications please use our online application form: Online application form

 

Updated 22.04.20

Thank you so much to everyone who has lent their support, either directly to Charity Link, including via our ‘Meeting the Need campaign (www.justgiving.com/campaign/charitylink) or via the new There With You fund launched by LeicestershireLive. You can read about some of the clients who we’ve already been able to help during the crisis here.

Update 14.04.20

The LeicestershireLive There With You Fund

Launched by the Leicester Mercury and LeicestershireLive on 14th April 2020, the There With You Fund is a charitable fund which issues emergency grants of up to £300 to Leicestershire residents in a position of exceptional hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The fund will be administered Charity Link.

All funds donated to the There With You Fund will have a positive and immediate impact on the lives of Leicestershire residents. It is dedicated solely to relieving poverty and easing financial hardship for Leicester and Leicestershire residents directly impacted by the coronavirus and will help to provide essential items, including food vouchers, utilities, cookers, fridges (for storing food and medicine), washing machines, microwaves, household goods, beds, bedding and school uniforms.

For regular updates on the difference the There With You Fund is making please visit the LeicestershireLive website and social media pages, the Leicester Mercury and our own social media pages.

The Fund was launched on the back of a £96,000 grant from the Randal Charitable Foundation, which has an unwavering vision that is to save lives, help the socially disadvantaged and improve the quality of life for those in need in the UK and around the world.

A Trustee of the Foundation said: “The speed at which the Covid-19 pandemic has spread is something that has taken everyone by surprise, and has turned all of our lives upside down.
This has inevitably affected some people in our communities more than others, which is why the There With You Fund is such a great idea”.

Those who are working with vulnerable people experiencing hardship can apply for support – for details click here

The launch of the There Will You Fund is a fantastic opportunity for the community – many of whom may not have previously known of Charity Link’s work in Leicestershire – to pull together to help provide essential items to those in need during this period of crisis.

Charity Link’s own fundraising efforts continue. It is only through the generous support of Charity Link’s work directly that it is possible for us to distribute funds and to make such a difference in these very difficult times.

Our dedicated Casework team will continue to work with referring agencies, assess applications for help and liaise with clients to ensure they receive the essential items they so desperately need. Our Casework team will also continue to support those in our community, finding funding for those who need larger scale support and find themselves in crisis and hardship not as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

Thanks for your continued support.

Update 02.04.20

Please be assured we are open and able to receive your applications during the Covid-19 crisis.

We have implemented remote working, with only minimal staff within the office to comply with social distancing regulations and to protect the safety and well-being of our team.

We recommend that you use our online application form, as this does not need to be completed face-to-face with your clients. All details can be obtained over the phone and it has the advantage of not requiring a client’s signature.

By using our online application form will also help us, as it will speed up our processes within the office.

For those who have not completed an online application before, please find a link below (please do not be concerned that the form is branded Northamptonshire County Council, as they very kindly produced the form for us to use).

http://charity-link.org/work-with-vulnerable-people/application-form/

Prior to making your first application you will need to create an account which is quick and easy to do. .

Applications are straightforward to complete and can be saved if you need to fill in the form over more than one session.

We appreciate that this option may not be available for everyone, so please complete the paper application form over the phone, read out the GDPR statement to your client and ask for their consent. Once consent has been given, please sign with your signature on the form and include the client’s contact number so we can call to ensure consent has been given. if you are able to do so, please scan the paper application and email to info@charity-link.org.

We are working tirelessly to ensure that essential items can be provided, but due to the fact that clothing retailers have now closed, we will be unable to assist with this item. To prevent cross-infection between houses and protect staff members/suppliers, all goods that are delivered directly to the clients address will be brought to the doorstep only. Please do check with your client that they will be able to move/install the item themselves or have a carer/household member who will be able to assist.

Please do keep using our services and continue to make applications.

Thank you and stay safe.
Update 24.03.20

Following the Governments announcement we have taken the decision to close the office to outside visitors to protect our valued members of staff.

Our service is still running and you can call us on 0116 222 2200 between the hours of 9am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

 

Update 23.03.20

To keep our service running and to ensure the safety of our valued staff members, we will be reducing our office opening hours to the public. The office will now only be open to visitors:

10am to 12 pm and from 2pm to 4pm.

If you need to contact us urgently, please call: 0116 222 2200.

Please be assured that our service is running and you can contact us on 0116 222 2200 from 9am to 4.30pm.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

 

Update 19.03.20

In light of the ongoing situation resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, we would like to reassure you that the team at Charity Link are taking all the appropriate measures to protect and support the well-being of our staff and their families  – but also to ensure we continue to provide vital support our clients.

We are still open for business as usual and we are continuing to assess and process applications. However, due to reduced staff members within the office the processing time is taking a little longer than it would normally. Please do bear with us during this time.

 

Updated 17.03.20

Firstly, we hope that you and your family are well.

We are facing unprecedented times.

The coming weeks are going to be extremely challenging.

As we are learning, things can change on a week by week, or even daily basis. However, as it stands, there are no recommendations by Government to close businesses unless it becomes absolutely necessary and we’d like to reassure you that we are very much still here and open for business.

As a public facing service organisation supporting the most vulnerable people in the community we are passionate about keeping our services open and we anticipate that as the Coronavirus becomes more widespread we’ll be needed more than ever. We aim to be here to support this need as much as possible. Therefore, currently our services are open as usual, whilst we also balance the health and safety of our team and wider stakeholder groups.

We will continue to follow Governmental advice and keep in touch with you.

We do, more than ever, appreciate your support.