There With You Fund enters second phase as managers prepare for pre-winter economic impact of new wave of Covid-19

 

● LeicestershireLive-backed fund enters planned second phase in response to mounting job losses
● £134,000 raised in first half of 12-month project to gather £250,000
● Almost 900 Leicestershire people in need already supported by partnership project

Administrators of the LeicestershireLive There With You Fund are preparing for a significant increase in calls for help in coming weeks as Government Covid-19 support schemes reduce and UK local lockdowns increase.

With winter approaching, Leicester-based welfare charity, Charity Link, has been monitoring the level of demand as the furlough scheme and other economic support packages are reduced. Charity Link, LeicestershireLive and the Randal Charitable Foundation launched the fund in April to help local people cope with the immediate health crisis as the UK went into lockdown.

The expectation from the outset was that the fund, which is aiming to raise £250,000 to support
Leicestershire people impacted by Covid-19, would operate for 12 months. This was so that a second
phase could address the economic impact of the pandemic. The fund has raised £134,000 in its first six months and continues to issue grants.

With restrictions returning across the UK, with talk of a second spike being weeks away, and the office for Budget Responsibility predicting that unemployment rates could raise to over 13% in 2021, with four million people out of work, the fund is now appealing to local businesses, organisations and individuals to continue supporting vulnerable Leicestershire people impacted by the pandemic.

Susan McEniff, Director of Marketing and Fundraising at city centre-based Charity Link, said: “As a
charity we’ve faced a significant loss in fundraising income due to the pandemic whilst, at the same
time, we’ve seen a large rise in the number of people needing our support.

“The There With You Fund, and the support it has received from the local community, has played an
essential and significant part in ensuring we are able to meet this need.

“We’ve already been able to provide more than £56,000 worth of essential items, including 55 beds and bedding, 85 cookers, 68 fridges/freezers, along with food and clothing grants to help 893 local people in need.”

Launched with an initial £96,000 donation from the Loughborough-based Randal Charitable Foundation, the There With You Fund issues grants worth up to £300 through the provision
of essential items to individuals and families who find themselves in severe hardship due to the
pandemic. Supporters so far have included The Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation, the Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, Wooden Spoon, the Sethi Family Trust and dozens of private donors.

“This is a fantastic achievement at such a difficult time and our community should be rightly proud of the difference we have already made together,” added Sue.

“However, the disturbing reality is that due to the coronavirus pandemic and its far-reaching impact, we are entering the next, difficult stage which will no doubt see further job losses and businesses closing.

“This will leave many more local people facing real hardship this winter.

“We need support now to help prevent local families from experiencing a winter without adequate
food, heating or being able to provide a hot meal for their family.”

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Founder and Chair of Trustees of the Randal Charitable Foundation, said: “I am immensely proud that almost 900 people facing extreme hardship in Leicestershire have already been supported thanks to the great work of Charity Link and the There With You Fund.

“Leicester in particular has suffered more than most, as local lockdown restrictions have never fully been lifted. As the Covid-19 numbers continue to spike, the There With You Fund needs further support more than ever to help the most vulnerable in our communities get through the winter months.

“The Randal Charitable Foundation has a clear unwavering vision, which is to save lives, help the socially disadvantaged and significantly improve the quality of life for those in need in the UK and around the world, which is why we’re so pleased to be able to support this hugely worthwhile campaign.”
Funds donated to the There With You Fund enable Charity Link to administer grants of up to £300
through the provision of essential items to those in need in Leicester and Leicestershire who have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 and face significant hardship. The majority of clients are referred to Charity Link by professionals and organisations working with vulnerable people in the community.

You can support the There With You Fund by donating via the online giving page at
www.justgiving.com/campaign/therewithyoufund.

Businesses wishing to lend their support can contact Sue McEniff, at Charity Link, on 0116 222 2212.

Ends

Editor’s notes

For more information contact: Rachel Markham – Charity Link – rachel.markham@charity-link.org Tel: 07960070553

Charity Link:
Charity Link was established in 1876 by local businesspeople and caring individuals to assist those in
Leicester experiencing poverty, hardship and crisis. In 1975 the charity expanded its work to include the areas of Leicestershire and Rutland and in 2012 it expanded its work into Northamptonshire to reach more vulnerable people in the East Midlands. Though times have changed, Charity Link’s services are as vital today as they were over 140 years ago. Charity Link finds funding to provide items that the majority of us take for granted, such as beds, fridges cookers, clothing, and in emergencies, food. It also offers help with mobility equipment and visual aids not available on the NHS. Its unique way of working – accessing money from charitable trusts around the UK that are available to help people in need – means that for every £10 donated Charity Link can raise £50 – all of the £50 goes to provide items for those most in need within the local community. Charity Link believes that all local people deserve a decent standard of living and should be able to fulfil their potential in life – with a right to adequate food, shelter and the means to keep warm, clean and rested – no matter what crisis, difficulty, disability or illness they may be facing. The charity currently helps round 5,000 people each year, over a third of which are children and young people. Further information on the charity can be found by visiting www.charity-link.org or by calling 0116 222 2200. On Twitter @charitylink and Facebook /charitylink

Randal Charitable Foundation:
The Randal Charitable Foundation has a clear unwavering vision, which 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. Supporting issues connected to health, disability, mental health, addiction, poverty, education and social disadvantage, is a key focus of the Foundation, which has an aspiration to save and improve the quality of 1 million people globally. www.randalfoundation.org.uk