Financial support for local organisations during Covid-19 pandemic

Newbury Building Society has awarded local organisations focussed on supporting those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic with one-off cash donations.  

As part of its Community Support Scheme, each organisation received £500 to assist with ongoing activities designed to help vulnerable people in the local area: 

  • Be Free Young Carers, Oxfordshire: awarded £500 to adapt the way the charity reaches young carers during lockdown through its specialist online befriending scheme 
  • Winchester Mediation Service: awarded £500 to help promote its services to those who need it during lockdown 
  • Hermitage Parish Council Covid-19 volunteer group: awarded £500 to create a food delivery service to assist those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic 
  • Swings & Smiles, Thatcham: awarded £500 to help bridge the financial gap caused by postponed and cancelled fundraising events due to Covid-19 
  • Friends of Ludgershall, Andover: awarded £500 to help bridge the financial gap caused by postponed and cancelled fundraising events due to Covid-19 
  • Ray Collins Charitable Trust, West Berkshire: awarded £500 to assist with the purchase of food parcels and other essential items for vulnerable people in West Berkshire affected by Covid-19 

The £3,000 donation followed the Society’s recent emergency donation of £30,000 to support its partner charities.  

About the Community Support Scheme Sabiene North, Fundraiser and Events Coordinator for Be Free Young Carers said: “Schemes such as this are so important to a local charity like us; they provide a life line, with funds often being granted quickly, in order for us to respond and adapt to the Covid-19 situation. Newbury Building Society's Community Support Scheme, does exactly that: supporting the community when they need it the most. We are very grateful.” 

Hannah Walton, Service Development Manager at Winchester Mediation Service said: “We are delighted and relieved to receive the donation. The outbreak of Covid-19 has had a direct and immediate impact on our ability to generate revenue. Although we have trained our mediators to use video conferencing, and they use it where they can, it is not ideal for meetings between two parties who are at odds with each other. We, like many others, are resigned to the fact that our income will take a hit, but we want to be ready for the sudden influx post lockdown in order to protect the future of the charity and help as many people in the community as possible.” 

Carolyn Purchase, member of the Hermitage Parish Council concluded:“The Hermitage volunteer group for Covid-19 is extremely grateful to Newbury Building Society for their recent grant of £500. This has enabled us to start a meal service for the people of Hermitage. To date (June 2020) we have distributed 45 meals - namely cottage pie, beef and vegetable curries. Jane Staunton our lovely caterer has just made a second batch of meals, which are currently in the freezer and will be delivered in the next few weeks.” 

Emma Simms, Marketing and Communications Manager at Newbury Building Society said: “We are delighted to be able to further support local organisations and charities who are committed to supporting those greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We hope the donations go some way in relieving the pressure and anxiety caused over recent months and we hope the financial injection will help the continuation of necessary support services.” 

The Community Support Scheme offers bi-annual funding of between £100 - £500 for local projects and charities in the Society’s operating area. Applications are open for Winter 2020 and will close early November.  

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