Surviving the Covid Winter Appeal raises £144,000 for vulnerable
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Christmas may be over, but as the UK heads into the third national lockdown, now more than ever support will be needed to help Norfolk’s most vulnerable.
‘Surviving the Covid Winter Appeal’, led by the Norfolk Community Foundation and the Eastern Daily Press, has now raised more than £144,000, which will go towards supporting those who have found themselves struggling amid the pandemic.
But the fight is not over, as a third national lockdown could be in place for up to six weeks or more.
A county-wide survey undertaken by the Norfolk Community Foundation revealed how people in Norfolk are really doing after ten months of living in a world dominated by Covid-19.
While worry and isolation was an issue for many, the research also revealed how our charities and communities are coming together to support one another.
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In November, 336 people completed the online poll and 46pc of respondents said one of their biggest concern was the safety of those they love, compared to 28pc who said they were worried about their own health.
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Claire Cullens, chief executive of Norfolk Community Foundation, said: "We are delighted to say that since launching the Surviving the Covid Winter Appeal in the EDP in November, we have received donations of more than £144,000 from members of the public, businesses who have donated a percentage of their December profits, such as Zaks, and local trusts.
"However, as we enter another period of full lockdown, we are effectively starting from scratch.
"Our local charities are needed more than ever and we must raise money to enable them to deliver their services to the thousands of vulnerable people and families in our county."
“Loss of income, lack of access to essential services and worries about health have meant that people in our society who were only just about coping, suddenly were in desperate need of help.”
More than a quarter of survey respondents (28pc) said that they have felt isolated and lonely during the pandemic with people missing family members, work colleagues and social events.
The survey also revealed that younger people have felt this loneliness more.
Some 34pc said the pandemic has made them think about making changes in their lives.
“The survey flags up some very sad and worrying issues and reinforces much of the information we have gathered from our partners out in the field,” said Ms Cullens.
“More than two thirds of those who answered (66.8pc) said they have realised how important local charities and voluntary groups are for the county.
“One in four people (26.3pc) said they are likely to need, or will definitely need, support from a charity to get them through the winter months.
“But the great news is that 58.2pc of the people who took part in the survey have supported a charity or community group in some way."
The Norfolk Community Foundation has been supporting local charities for more than 15 years, providing immediate and targeted help.
Ms Cullens added: “As our charity partners have adapted, so have we; finding innovative ways to address the issues that Norfolk people are facing on an ongoing basis.
“For example, to help children and young people struggling with mental health issues we are collaborating with Sir Norman Lamb on the Coalition for Younger People.
“To help people access affordable food throughout the year, we have collaborated with the Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford to launch a community shop; a model that we intend to replicate in other parts of Norfolk.”
The foundation has invested more than £4m on organisations and projects supporting people in Norfolk this year, including £2m on Covid resilience initiatives.
“We would urge anyone who would like to support their community to get in touch with us,” said Ms Cullens.
“Perhaps you received a winter fuel allowance that you don’t need or the pandemic hasn’t changed your life too much.
"Every pound that we raise will enable charities to provide a vital lifeline to people in Norfolk throughout 2021.”
You can help by donating online at norfolkfoundation.com/giving-philanthropy/surviving-the-covid-winter/, calling 01603 623958 to make a card payment or sending a cheque to Norfolk Community Foundation, 5th Floor St James Mill, Whitefriars, Norwich, NR3 1TN.