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Newbury Building Society has donated a combined total of £30,000 to support its branch charity partners during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Society brought forward its annual donation to each charity, usually made at the end of each calendar year, as an emergency donation to support their work and services during this difficult time. The donations are to help bridge gaps in funding caused by the cancellation of several of the charities key fundraising events.
The charities receiving support include Helen & Douglas House, Alton Food Bank, St Michael’s Hospice, Prior’s Court Foundation, Newbury Cancer Care, Friends of PICU, Sue Ryder Wokingham and Alzheimer’s Society.
Roland Gardner, Chief Executive of Newbury Building Society said: “The Society is pleased to be able to help our charity partners with early payment of this year’s donations. In such unusual times, anything we can do to support our local charities is so important to us. But let me also say that it is really the generosity of our members, the ones who save in our charity account, who provide the bulk of the money raised. They are the real heroes.”
Reactions from the charity partners regarding the forward payment:
Zena Jones, Community Fundraiser at Alzheimer's Society
"Wow! Thank you so much for this wonderful offer of making a significant proportion of next year’s donation now. Like many other charities we have certainly been hit financially by the pandemic and having this donation will make a huge difference to our work now and during this crisis, so we’d kindly like to accept. Thank you so much on behalf of all of us at Alzheimer’s Society. "
Shahzaadee Adam, Corporate Fundraising Executive at Helen & Douglas House
"The hospice has had to reduce some of its services but we’re doing everything we can to provide care to as many families as possible, especially patients needing symptom control and end of life care, so thank you very much for this incredibly kind gesture! As a charity, we rely almost entirely on financial support from the public to fund our work and we are extremely grateful to have you make this donation. Thank you again for your continued support, it means a lot to us, especially in times like this!"
Mark Hilder, Secretary at Friends of PICU
"The Trustees have said thank you and yes please - this is a very thoughtful idea and would be kindly received by Friends of PICU."
Megan Parry, Events Coordinator at St Michael's Hospice
"Wow what an amazing and incredibly generous gesture! We honestly cannot thank you enough as this will make such a big difference to our staff, patients and their families. We have the most incredible community of supporters and your kindness, support and generosity during these difficult and unprecedented times is truly humbling and greatly appreciated by everyone here at St. Michael's Hospice. On behalf of all our patients, their families and the dedicated staff and volunteers at St. Michael's Hospice, thank you so much for your continued support, it really is greatly appreciated."
Ian Dane, Alton Foodbank Manager
"It is very generous of the Newbury Building Society to make an emergency advance donation equivalent to 80% of the funds donated last year. "
Helen Milroy, Director of Operations at Newbury Cancer Care
"Thank you for the wonderful news – we’re so grateful to Newbury Building Society for support we’ve received over the years, but especially now in these difficult times."
Karen White, Head of Fundraising at Prior's Court Foundation
"We would absolutely welcome your ‘early’ support, as our main fundraising event at Newbury Racecourse in a few months time is obviously under threat. As you will understand, Prior’s Court is still fully open with our dedicated care staff supporting our young people during this difficult time. Our fundraising plans have been totally thrown off course, so this offer from Newbury Building Society is extremely helpful and we would be delighted to accept your assistance."
Alison Edwards, Community Fundraising Manager at Sue Ryder
"Thank you so much for this. It is incredibly generous of you to do this at such a difficult time. We are so grateful to you. it really will make such a difference to the team at the Duchess of Kent Hospice."
Community Support Scheme Covid-19 update
The Society also provides financial assistance to small local groups through its Community Support Scheme. It is currently welcoming applications from small community groups based in the Society’s branch towns.
Applications from charities/organisations that may be helping vulnerable people who are self-isolating, supplying items for foodbanks, or alleviating the impact of children no longer receiving free school meals due to school closures in branch towns are particularly welcomed.