Foundation provides essential support to local communities

After launching its Doing Things Differently Fund, Heart of England Community Foundation has supported a wealth of charities across the region, awarding over £872,000 of funding so far. Following on from the success of the Foundation’s Coronavirus Resilience Fund, this latest designated pot of money is aiming to ensure that community projects can adapt safely to the ‘new normal’, so that they can continue carrying out essential support in their area. Since launching the new fund in May, the charity has supported 20 projects across Coventry and Warwickshire.

Stretching across the West Midlands and Warwickshire, the Foundation has lent a helping hand to a combined total of 70 causes across the West Midlands since it launched the Doing Things Differently Fund, with grants between £3,000 to £20,000 being awarded to support everything from online support groups to funding wellbeing packs.

Coventry and Warwickshire are two of the many areas that have benefitted from the fund, with 20 causes receiving a combined total of £225,295 from Heart of England Community Foundation, including vital services like Time Out, ILEAP Charity and Coventry and Warwickshire Mind.

Other charities that have received funding are Voluntary Action Coventry, which will be using the grant to fund a Liaison Officer as their project Chat Central, focusing on supporting those who are isolated, has seen an increased demand since transitioning to virtual and telephone based support during COVID-19. Commenting on the support that they’ve had from the Foundation, Sue Ogle from Voluntary Action Coventry, said: “We’ve been inundated with requests for support by people feeling lonely and isolated during the Pandemic, the Doing Things Differently funding is helping us to connect with many more people, bringing them together both virtually by Zoom, and as lock down eases through outdoor activities and social events enabling them to build new friendships and relationships.”

Since lockdown was enforced back in March due to Covid-19, vital services across the region have seen a spike in demand for those seeking support, which means that community organisations need more support now than ever before in order to carry on operating under the current challenging circumstances.

Tina Costello, Chief Executive at Heart of England Community Foundation, said: “Following on from the success of the Coronavirus Resilience Fund, which we launched earlier in the year, we have been able to provide support to so many incredible community charities and services across the West Midlands. By launching the Doing Things Differently Fund we have been able to continue providing support to a multitude of community services, which in turn, enables them to help vulnerable people.

“We have such a huge passion and drive to do what we can to ensure that these vital services make it safely through this pandemic, and we’ve been inundated with applications from so many communities that need our support during this turbulent time. As an organisation, we are thrilled that we have been able to provide over £593,000, and we are determined to keep doing everything that we can to keep these community afloat as we continue to move forward into the new normal.”

To find out more about the Doing Things Differently Fund, including details on how to apply and essential information, visit https://www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk/doing-things-differently/