The Suffolk Coronavirus Community Fund has already raised £1.7M and awarded 334 grants worth nearly £1.5M to Suffolk charities and community groups – but as winter approaches there is still much more to be done to ‘Re-Build Local Lives.’
We have been so moved to witness the people of Suffolk giving so generously to this important work. When the country went into lockdown in March, I don’t think any of us really had any comprehension of the effect that Coronavirus would have on so many people’s lives and our hearts continue to go out to those who are suffering. However, amidst all of the challenges, we have also seen real passion from every corner of Suffolk to fight the effects of the pandemic. Suffolk’s established charities and community groups have been hugely committed to finding ways to adapt their methods of delivery, and in many cases increase the numbers of people they are supporting. We have also seen a huge stimulus to cross county partnership working and inspiring levels of community development, volunteering and local action from within grassroots communities. It continues to be a privilege for our team at the Foundation to find ways to bring people together to keep existing projects moving forward and to support the creation and deliver of new ideas and solutions. I would also like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped the Foundation identify and deliver much of the financial support they have needed for their projects.
So together, #TeamSuffolk has already raised £1.7M of the Rebuilding Local Lives Appeal’s £2M target, but with winter almost upon us, what comes next? Tim Holder, Head of Public Affairs for the Foundation has been leading on public awareness for the appeal over the past 6 months, but now has his eyes firmly fixed on the fast approaching colder months.
It really is astounding that the money that has been raised so far has empowered local groups to reach nearly 167,000 direct beneficiaries in Suffolk. We must now firmly press ahead with finding ways to support the increasing numbers of vulnerable people in Suffolk as winter closes in. This will be no ordinary winter, with vulnerable people continuing to isolate for many more months, large rises in local unemployment anticipated and a continued negative impact on physical and mental wellbeing. We are anticipating a huge spike in demand for support. In partnership with the East Anglian Daily Times and BBC Radio Suffolk we are now finalising the details for a Winter Appeal that will focus on the key elements of staying warm, staying well and staying connected. We will certainly need Suffolk to go the extra mile to keep people safe as the temperatures continue to drop. We hope to deliver uniquely festive approach to the appeal, full of hope, warmth and kindness during this season that has a tradition for giving. Our aim is for the appeal to deliver the remaining £300K we need to reach our £2M target by the end of the year.
The Foundation is also currently working on delivering a LIVE broadcast to Suffolk from DanceEast’s brand new digital facility at The Jerwood Dance House scheduled to go out on November 11th at 2pm. It will deliver a much needed thank you to Suffolk and celebrate everything that has been achieved so far. It will also include many familiar faces from every corner of the county. The programme will be presented by well-known East Anglian Journalist and Author Christine Webber and Tim Holder. In a packed hour, there will also be more news about the new Rebuilding Local Lives Winter Appeal, and the important launch of the third edition of Suffolk’s Hidden Needs Report, commissioned by the Foundation and produced by The University of Suffolk.