As part of its emergency response to Covid-19, Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation has distributed over £600k to charitable and voluntary groups helping the people worst hit by the pandemic in the city and county.
Women 4 Change was given an emergency grant of £4,398 to support isolated families in the St Matthews area of Leicester.
Living in lockdown, especially as a parent or guardian looking after younger children, has been taxing for many. Keeping children both mentally and physically stimulated without schooling is a huge challenge, and St Matthew’s estate, one of the most deprived neighbourhoods in Leicester, houses a number of families living in extremely cramped conditions.
Women 4 Change offered a helpline for those isolated during lockdown for assistance with financial and other difficulties including anxiety and stress. Some single parents cannot safely take their children with them when they go shopping, for example, and they struggle to find childcare. Many family members have lost jobs; others are on furlough. People with already low incomes are having to cope with even less money. Most, if not all, of the people that Women 4 Change worked with are from Black, Asian and other ethnic minority communities.
Mrs. Farhiyo Abdi, the Chairperson of Women 4 Change, said: “With everything that is happening right now, we’re reaching out to the community and acting as a bridge. With certain language barriers among communities of Leicester, we have been able to provide accessibility for those who are struggling, information from the council and the police, to general assistance with food requests and other help. We have also been reaching out to the most vulnerable members of society who have contacted us on the helpline, and we have also helped to support the family of Hassan Jama, who sadly lost his life recently.”
Katy Green, CEO of Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation, said: “The National Emergencies Trust funds, and the contributions that families and companies have added, mean we can help local voluntary groups who really know local needs. The invaluable work of groups like Women 4 Change means local challenges don’t have to get worse.”