Well, never did we ever imagine that the next time we compiled our newsletter it would be under quite such extraordinary circumstances. Whether you are new to our read or have been with us for a while, we hope we find you all safe and well, and getting through these times as best as you can.
It will come as no surprise to hear that this particular edition of the DCF News will concentrate on our response, and the response of our partners, to the coronavirus outbreak. We hope to include something of use, interest or relevance to everyone, plus maybe something just to make you smile.
We’re Here For You
Our doors may be closed but all the DCF teams are currently working hard from their new offices at home. We have tried to ensure that an awful lot of what you might need to know at the moment is on our website, so please do take a look. If you do still need to contact us please feel free to do so by email and we will endeavour to reply as soon as we possibly can. We’re keeping up our morale by mainly sharing photos and videos of pets, but we have also been known to do a bit of collective disco dancing via Zoom as well!
Our main response to the coronavirus outbreak has been to establish a means for gathering and distributing money in this time of crisis, afterall, that is what we were designed to do, and what we are here for every other day of the (normal) year.
We had the Devon Coronavirus Response & Recovery Fund up and running within a matter of days and to date have received donations to it topping half a million pounds and issued grants of over £300,000 so far!
For a timeline relating to our response and more details about the grant spending please visit our webpage here.
We’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone who has contributed to the fund so far, from pledgers to our CAF Donate page, whose donations have varied from £5 to £1,250, to our existing donors, who have been amazingly generous as always, to other agencies, corporations, trusts, through to those that have supported us through the national coronavirus appeal. The National Emergencies Trust was set up just last year for exactly times like this, and distribute the money they raise from all over the UK through Community Foundations all over the country, including ours.
For more details of those that have given their support please visit our webpage here.
So far DCF has been able to give funding support to over 100 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, homeless, people with physical disabilities, people living in poverty, the list goes on… across a wide range of services – including food and medicine supply, support via phone, computer or even mail; and the expenses required to carry out these services, including equipment, transport, etc.
We’re working hard to share some of their stories with you via our social media channels and via our website here, so please don’t forget to give us a follow if you don’t already.
What if the members of your community who you usually meet and support each week are cut off but not able to access or aren’t practised in using technology?
Well, when the coronavirus hit, Diana & Lloyd of the Young at Heart Club in Mid Devon got busy creating a publication that would continue to spread joy, hope and friendly messages to its members, by the safety of post!
A grant from our emergency fund has meant that Diana & Lloyd are able to design, produce and print newsletters packed full of fun content that also includes advice on a new phone service they have launched too, to help its members stay in touch.
“The average age of our club members is 83, and 80% joined our club because they were lonely and isolated. But now, through no fault of their own their regular visits to our club each week has stopped.
“They will now know that we are all in this together and help is here and they are not being neglected.”
Churches Housing Action Team (CHAT) offer both face to face and phone support to people affected by homelessness and/or poverty in Mid Devon. Some of the many services they offer include housing advice, tenancy support, debt/money advice as well as a warm, dry place to talk with people that care, and an on-site foodbank.
With many of the volunteers that support CHAT’s work being 70 and above and now in isolation – workforce was down, but demand going up.
“CHAT believes that everyone is entitled to decent, secure and affordable accommodation, somewhere to call ‘home’, and food to eat.”
With help from our Devon Coronavirus Response & Recovery Fund CHAT are managing to maintain food stock and a delivery service where it is needed.
“The people accessing our foodbank include the homeless, but also those on low incomes or having lost their jobs, including the elderly.”
Our Content Creator Jo has been taking a deeper look at some of the issues faced by some people that have been exasperated by lockdown and what the groups we help support that work with them are doing to carry on that vital work.
Read our article about Pete’s Dragons – A charity whose passion for the support of people bereaved by suicide won’t be dampened by the coronavirus outbreak.
Read our article about The Nest – A CIC that formed late in 2019 and were due to launch its services supporting pregnant women this June. The pandemic, rather than put paid to their planned activities, only served them to bring them forward – albeit modified – to help Mums and Mums to be during the crisis.
Read our article about Stop Abuse For Everyone (SAFE), and their counterparts who are continuing their support of domestic abuse survivors through the crisis.
Want to share your story? We would love to hear from you! Please contact our Content Creator by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You Can Apply
If you are a small charity or community organisation based in Devon who are supporting vulnerable groups affected by the coronavirus outbreak you may be eligible to apply to our Devon Coronavirus Response & Recovery Fund.
The fund is being administered in two halves. The current round of funding relates to work being done at the moment in direct response to the outbreak.
Our second round will happen later. In the recovery stage, we will fund a wider group of local charities and community organisations whose operations and finances have been affected so they can recover and continue their activities once the outbreak eases.
For everything you need to know to apply, including a full fund criteria, please visit our webpage here.
Our website has been updated to include a wide range of new resources for everyone.
Click here for a list of helpful resources ordered by theme, including access to support in your area.
Click here for a list of other grants supporting those in the face of the pandemic.
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