In response to the Covid-19 emergency, Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation has distributed over £670k to local charitable groups, to help combat the impact on communities. A £10,000 emergency grant went to The Bridge in Loughborough, which prevents and relieves homelessness. The grant was funded by the National Emergencies Trust as well as private donors.
Covid-19 has had a dramatic effect on society as a whole, but there are groups that are at a higher risk of facing negative effects as a result of the pandemic. The Bridge used the emergency grant to provide food to single people, couples and families that have been provided with emergency accommodation, and to those sleeping temporarily in hotels or going back on the streets.
The team took to the local supermarket for food “top ups” to add to deliveries made 2-3 times a week by FareShare (which redistributes surplus food to frontline charities) and local donations of food items. The Bridge team also travelled the area weekly to identify and support any new rough sleepers.
Paul Snape, Deputy Chief Officer, head of Business Development, said: “As an organisation, we have seen a significant increase in demand for our services since March. In June alone, the enquiries into our customer services team saw a year on year increase of 93%. We anticipate the situation worsening; with massive redundancies, the end of the furlough schemes, and the end of the eviction ban. The knock on effect of Covid-19 will be massive; we will see increases in homelessness, mental health issues and poverty, in particular, food poverty.”
Paul is grateful to Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation, who work to enable local companies and families to give to local need, as well as distributing National Emergencies Trust funds. He said: “The Foundation’s application process is so easy and straightforward, and it’s great that we can reapply. We are having to plan now to meet ongoing food costs. We see no immediate end to the need at the moment and anticipate that we will need more support to help people facing homelessness.”