Welcome along all to this July edition of our e-news as the nation takes its first tentative steps towards, to coin a well-used phrase, a ‘new normal’. We at DCF are no exception– we have starting thinking about how/when and even if we return to our former way of working under a collective roof and we are thrilled to have begun putting some of our pre-pandemic plans back on track… including our much anticipated new website build and grant review. Watch this space for those! Meantime, if you’d like catch up on all our recent activity, thanks for joining us and please read on!
Since Last Time
As a Community Foundation our purpose is to help support communities to do what they do best. The pandemic, with all the struggle, pain and uncertainty it has brought with it, has also shone a spotlight over the many people, groups, clubs and charities that have come together – either for the first time or to an even greater extent than before. They share one simple aim – to help others, and it has been our aim to help them do just that. We launched our Devon Response & Recovery Fund on the 19 March and it has been issuing financial support to those efforts ever since. In the last three months we have worked incredibly hard, processing and issuing a record number of grants than ever in this period of time before and we are incredibly proud of the work that they have supported so far. To read our full coronavirus story, including feedback from our recipients, please click here
We’re (still) here for you
At DCF we have recently started reviewing our recent working practices whilst thinking about what a return to the office might look like. We have certainly experienced both the highs and lows of working from home and undergone a learning process about virtual working that will unquestionably inform our future. But simply for your tea-time entertainment we asked our team members to sum up their experiences in one statement. Some are more relatable than others…!
Please remember that our Response & Recovery Fund is still very much open and welcoming applications from groups or charities that are carrying out projects in direct response to the outbreak. If you have previously applied and been successful with funding you may be eligible to reapply. Please contact our grants team if you think this may be the case or head straight to our apply pages to submit a new application
What the organisations we support need to move forward is of crucial importance to us, and must inform our next phase of funding. That is why we have been reaching out to talk with groups and charities known to us to find out how we can be best placed to support as many community organisations in Devon to thrive into the future as our fund allows. Once we have completed this review and considered the important criteria for our ‘Recovery’ phase we will be very pleased to invite applications, we hope, starting at the end of July. Please follow our social media channels for regular updates and announcements on this and more.
We would like to echo the words of our last issue by extending our genuine and heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to our Devon Coronavirus Response & Recovery fund so far.
Thank you pledgers to our CAF Donate page, your donations have varied from £5 to £1,250 and each and every one adds up. Thank you to our existing donors who have been amazingly generous, as always, and to other agencies, corporations, trusts, that includes The National Emergencies Trust who have so far contributed over half a million pounds to our fund from their coronavirus appeal!
NET, who distribute funds collected nationally all over the UK via Community Foundations including ours, have written a 12 week report on their activities that can be viewed on their website here.
Our fund still needs help! We anticipate that our Devon Coronavirus Response & Recovery Fund will continue to be a lifeline to many, many groups and charities in Devon that have suffered a huge financial blow due to the pandemic. Currently we foresee that it will have a place alongside our other funds, in supporting the survival of hard-hit community organisations well into 2021 and perhaps even beyond that. If you are able and would like to offer your support, thank you. Please visit our donate page or talk to our Philanthropy Team today.
So far DCF has been able to give funding support to nearly 200 groups, charities or organisations across Devon that are supporting members of their community impacted by the pandemic. Funds have gone towards supporting a huge range of individuals – older people, young people, families, people who are homeless, those with physical disabilities, people living in poverty, the list goes on… providing a wide range of services – including food and medicine supply, support via phone, computer or even mail; and meeting the expenses required to carry out these services, including equipment, transport, etc.
To read more of their stories, please visit our website here
The coronavirus means that families are spending much more of their time at home. This means that parents and carers of children with additional needs may face new challenges.
Ordinarily, Sense Abilities helps families to engage in sensory play. However, at a time where families may feel disconnected from their support networks, founder Suzannah Jones has been dedicated to providing materials to help children and their parents or carers at home.
The charity have created therapeutic sensory bags. A typical bag contains recipe cards, sensory play equipment and a wellbeing card or gift for the caring adults.
With support from our Devon Coronavirus Response & Recovery Fund, they have been able to immediately dispatch bags to 100 families in and around their Torbay area.
We are all by now aware of how the pandemic is affecting both ours, and the lives of other people in our communities. The most extreme of these impacts, though fortunately not one most of us will have to endure, is the death of someone we know or even love. Sadly though, it is the case for some. And for those people, due to lockdown rules, grieving is made all the more difficult by not being able to console with others or visit places of worship where they may otherwise find solace.
This is something that has been recognised by Hospiscare who provide palliative care in Devon from their base in Exeter.
They have set up a bereavement hub to answer calls not just from their own patients but from anyone suffering isolation, loneliness or grief following the loss of a loved one from Covid-19. We are glad to be able to have helped with the realisation of this service by funding extra staffing from our Devon Coronavirus Response & Recovery Fund.
A Brief Note
During lockdown our Communities Team worked very hard to collate and present some themed stats, information and overviews into the coronavirus response in our local communities in a weekly publication that proved a useful tool for sector leaders and inflencers. The team are now easing off the pedal to concentrate on other business but are still delighted to be producing a version that will be emailed fortnightly. To download any of their publications to date please visit our website here or to sign up to their mailing list please contact our Knowledge Guru Nicola by email here.
Other Funding Support
As planned, our summer round of funding is currently on hold whilst we undergo an extensive grant review to make sure how you access and apply for funding through us is as simple and effective as possible. If you are not eligible for our emergency funding or are currently looking for outside sources of funding support please visit the funding page of our website that includes a long and varied list of grants from other funding organisations.
The Last Word
Unfortunately, there will always be parties that seek to profit from the vulnerability of others. We would like to remind you of that whilst, universally, we are experiencing some of the most difficult times in our lifetimes and the majority of us are concentrating on overcoming the challenges presented by current crisis, there are a minority of people who are seeking personal gain from it. Please be aware of any communication that, on first-glance, might appear from a known source but could, in-fact, come from another party using an organisation’s identity fraudulently.
At DCF we are proud of our personable approach and therefore if you receive any communication in our name that doesn’t seem quite right, please do question it and get in touch.
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