The first 17 recipients of grants from LCR Cares totalling £75,000 have been revealed, as the fund nears the half a million pound mark.
Based across the Liverpool City Region, the first recipients include community organisations providing vital services such as foodbanks, delivery of food and care packages to vulnerable people, telephone and online services offering friendship and helping reduce isolation, as well as mental health support during this difficult time.
The LCR Cares COVID-19 Community Fund was launched last week by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram in partnership with registered charity Community Foundation for Merseyside, with the aim of raising £1million to support local community and voluntary organisations.
Just one week after Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram kickstarted the fund, it has jumped from £250k to nearly £450k, after generous donations of £50,000 from Liverpool City Region-based retailer Home Bargains, and a further £123,250 from the National Emergencies Trust, as well as scores of smaller donations from individuals.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
“It’s great to see LCR Cares get off to such a flying start, both in terms of how much it has raised, and how quickly we’ve seen the money going back out to support our community heroes, right across our city region. The fund is already making a difference to some of our most vulnerable people and I’d encourage everyone to give what they can, if they are able, to support these amazing organisations.”
Among those receiving grants is The Martin Gallier Project which is based in New Ferry in Wirral. They deliver suicide intervention and support those bereaved through suicide.
Jessica Gallier, Chief Executive and founder of The Martin Gallier Project said:
“This fund hasn’t just allowed us to continue offering crucial support that is needed to prevent suicide, it’s actually stopped us from folding completely. All the fundraising activity we had planned had to be cancelled due to Coronavirus. Thousands of pounds worth of fundraising disappeared overnight. This grant has enabled us to continue running, keep our four staff in post, pull together our community volunteers and allow us to run a crisis phone line which is acutely needed at this time to continue helping people when they most need it.”
Age UK Mid Mersey also received funding. Mark Lunney their CEO said:
“We have seen nothing like this ever before. Right across Merseyside, we are helping hundreds of local older people in any way we can. Calling them to offer a moment of support, befriending and reassuring them that people care about them and are looking out for them when they are most in need. Keeping a lifeline open for them to get essential help, information and medication, or drop off a free emergency food parcel. But most of all, keeping them resilient and calm. Without support and grants from Liverpool City Region partners, we couldn’t sustain this work, or reach so many most vulnerable, who need our help the most.
“If this funding does one thing, it will now ensure those older people in need will be able to get help from us quickly and will allow us to offer desperately needed care at a time when it’s vital. It could help save lives and identify those in our communities who previously may have been overlooked”
Richard Brown is the Chief Executive of Listening Ear in Knowsley which offers counselling to vulnerable children and adults including survivors of domestic abuse. He said:
“LCR Cares has enabled us to offer the vulnerable adults and children that we work with a continuous service whilst also ensuring clinical safety is at the core of our activity. With the change in operational procedures, we’ve moved from offering face to face counselling to offering telephone based counselling, Listening Ear has relocated the whole agency to work from home. This took us about four days to plan and implement and we’ve been able to provide everyone with the equipment they need.”
The Community Foundation for Merseyside has been administering the grants. Rae Brooke, Chief Executive of the Foundation said:
“We have been humbled by the generosity of the people and organisations who have donated so far, demonstrating a real depth of community spirit and desire to support those who are most vulnerable. We thank each and every one of them.
“To have raised this amount of money in a matter of weeks is phenomenal. We never doubted the ability of the Liverpool City Region to pull together when there is so much at stake. We have already distributed more than £75,000 to support community and voluntary organisations on the frontline and we will continue distributing support for as long as there are funds available to help. That is why we continue to call on those, with the capacity to do so, to donate to the LCR Cares COVID-19 Community Support Fund. This is just the start, the detrimental impact of this emergency, on the most vulnerable in our community, will be evident for many months to come. If any city region is to meet that challenge head on I’m confident, as a proud Liverpudlian born and bred, we’ll do it!”
Details on how to donate are on the Combined Authority’s website. Search “LCRCares” or visit www.lcrcares.co.uk
Community organisations can apply for grants by visiting: www.cfmerseyside.org.uk