It’s been a tough year for us all, not least for our most vulnerable communities up and down the country.
For these communities, the support that comes from charities, local projects, and initiatives offer a lifeline, providing practical and emotional help when it’s needed most.
But the pandemic has hit us all hard.
With charitable organisations relying heavily on fundraising events – most of which have had to be cancelled or disrupted this year – it’s no wonder that more than half (55 per cent) say they are unsure whether they will be able to meet demand for their services over winter.
Worryingly, nearly all charities (94 per cent) are concerned about the impact of the recession on their finances, with just under half (43 per cent) already having to cut jobs, particularly in service delivery roles.
Sadly this comes as little surprise, with 52 per cent of organisations seeing a fall in public donations as a result of the pandemic.
Needless to say, it’s a critical time for the UK’s charitable sector and, with such key services at risk, it is our most vulnerable communities that will be hardest hit.
In this difficult time, Barclays has launched its £100m Covid-19 Community Aid Programme to help charities continue to carry out the vital work they do across the country.
The British bank is pledging £100million to support a number of organisations that are meeting the needs of people in the community acutely affected by the crisis.
For many, these charities are a lifeline and Barclays is pleased to be able to work alongside such valued organisations.
Here are just some of the good causes benefiting from Barclays’ £100m Covid-19 Community Aid Programme.
St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice
St Margaret’s Hospice Care is one of the charities getting urgently-needed support from Barclays’ £100m Covid-19 Community Aid Programme.
Set up 40 years ago, the Somerset charity provides high-quality, responsive care to patients facing life-limiting illnesses, and their families
In the last year alone it has supported 4,800 terminally ill patients, family members and carers, in their homes, at its in-patient unit, and via outpatient services. It has provided bereavement and spiritual support to 583 adults and 160 children who’ve lost loved ones.
The hospice collaborates with the NHS, healthcare providers and care homes. Additionally, it was one of the first hospices nationally to use technology to strengthen knowledge sharing and training to improve end of life experiences.
The funding will help it to continue its support for those shielding from Covid-19 at home via its vital 24-hour advice line for patients, carers and healthcare professionals – helping to reduce isolation, fear and anxiety.
Joy Milliken, clinical director, says: “Every call on the adviceline is answered by one of our specialist team. They provide reassurance, advice and care to everyone who needs it. It’s our frontline response every day of any year, but it’s never been more important than now.
“Because of Barclays, we continue to be with our patients every step of the way.”
Bawso is a leading black and ethnic minority charity in Wales that provides support services to victims of violence, domestic abuse, human trafficking and modern slavery.
Over the past 12 months, the charity has supported nearly 8000 people across Wales through a number of services. These including providing safe accommodation for families as well as offering support and help with practical issues such as registering with a GP or a school.
The charity will be using its share of the funding to help meet the basic needs of struggling families through food parcels, PPE and medical care.
Starlight Children’s Foundation
Starlight Children’s Foundation is one of the charities that is receiving vital support from Barclays’ Covid-19 Community Aid Package.
Now, more than ever, it’s important that seriously ill children are given the time and resources to play.
Starlight Children’s Foundation has been using the power of play to brighten the lives of children in hospitals and in hospices across the UK for more than 25 years, helping them and their families to escape the routine and reality of treatment.
In just the past 12 months, the charity has reached around 1.5 million children, providing them with Distraction Boxes to help ease their fears, and Boost Boxes packed with fun things to help them laugh and learn. It has also staged story-telling and pantomime performances and granted hundreds of Starlight Wishes – everything from becoming a princess to meeting an astronaut!
The 100×100 funding from Barclays will allow Starlight to target hospitals and hospices in areas of need to help even more vulnerable children.
Cathy Gilman, CEO of Starlight, said, “From all at Starlight and the children and their families that we support, we want to say a huge thank you to Barclays for this generous donation.
“There has never been a more urgent need for play in hospitals, as child contend with heightened levels of anxiety and isolation during the pandemic.”
Heel and Toe
This charity in the North East supports children and young people with physical and neurological disabilities to live active and independent lives by providing free therapy. It is the only charity of its type in the region.
Around 300 young people, between the ages of three months to 25 years, attend therapy sessions at Heel and Toe each week. Services are led by specialist pediatric therapists and include physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, and hydrotherapy.