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Charity giant overwhelmed after supporters raise £1m in 100 days for vulnerable people during pandemic

PUBLISHED: 06:30 29 July 2020

Norfolk Community Foundation chief executive Claire Cullens. Picture: Norfolk Community Foundation

Norfolk Community Foundation chief executive Claire Cullens. Picture: Norfolk Community Foundation

Norfolk Community Foundation

Rough sleepers and war veterans are just some of the thousands of people helped in lockdown thanks to generous communities.

Henry Cator speaking in 2013. Picture: Denise BradleyHenry Cator speaking in 2013. Picture: Denise Bradley

The money was raised by individuals or groups for the Norfolk Community Foundation (NCF), which supports local organisations and has given out £1m to frontline charities over the past 100 days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Claire Cullens, chief executive of NCF, and Henry Cator, chair of trustees of the non-profit organisation, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shattered our everyday lives. The most vulnerable people in our communities rely on local support for day to day help, support and companionship. Covid-19 threatened to cut these lifelines when they are needed most, and our charities and volunteers stepped up to adapt and grow their vital services with incredible speed and commitment.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for our appeal from people across Norfolk - every single donation, large or small, has provided immediate help to the charities on the frontline.”

During the last 100 days the vital funds were raised thanks to support from more than 2,000 people.

Hayley Burwood, Opening Doors chairwoman. Photo: Geraldine ScottHayley Burwood, Opening Doors chairwoman. Photo: Geraldine Scott

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Thanks to the money 170 communities received rapid response funding, 52,000 people struggling isolation received care, 300,000 people received crisis food supplies and 70 charities received funding.

One of the charities helped by NCF, which is part of a worldwide charitable network of community foundations, was The Bridge For Heroes in King’s Lynn which provides support for service personnel and veterans and their families in West Norfolk.

It turned into a hub for food supplies and a base for a telephone helpline after its drop-in centre closed during lockdown.

Norwich-based Opening Doors, which is run by people with learning disabilities for people with learning disabilities used the money to put out a fortnightly newsletter to keep its members, many of whom were shielding, in touch and inform them on where to go for support.

Staff and volunteers at St Martins' Donation Station at 33 Bishopgate, Norwich. Picture: St MartinsStaff and volunteers at St Martins' Donation Station at 33 Bishopgate, Norwich. Picture: St Martins

St Martins, which supports Norwich’s homeless community, used NCF cash to maintain its staff numbers so homeless accommodation could be kept safe.

For more information visit www.norfolkfoundation.com

For the latest COVID-19 news, visit the Norfolk Coronavirus Updates Facebook page.

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