Tears and Easter angels – an update from our grants team

This has been such a busy period for our grants team. As soon as social isolation became a reality, community groups working on the front-line of deprivation needed immediate grants for immediate needs.

The quick and generous response from our donors meant we were awarding grants within 48 hours of the launch of the Appeal and this has continued apace. To 14 May, we have awarded 175 grants totalling £392,000 to 110 community groups. To give you an idea of scale, this is more than we awarded in the first five months of 2019.

Alongside the established groups and charities, we also started getting enquiries from the plethora of small groups set up purely to meet the Coronavirus needs of their communities; picking up prescriptions, delivering shopping, going to the Post Office for people in isolation. They are extremely effective in delivering their services but often have no bank account, constitution or formal governance.

We immediately:

  • suspended our usual grant-making and focussed on the Cornwall Emergency Fund, plus a small number of other programmes that support individuals in crisis.
  • invited a highly experienced group of people to be the Emergency Fund grant panel.
  • set up three different pathways for grant applications for 1. groups that have had a grant from CCF in the last three years, 2. established groups who have not had a grant and 3. new groups who don’t have a constitution or bank account. The pathways enable us to get grants where they are needed as quickly as possible but also to ensure that every pound donated to the Emergency Fund is put to the best purpose possible.

Behind the numbers and the processes, however, we have been truly moved as a team by the depth of the need reflected in the application forms and the gratitude of the groups on receiving. One experienced charity CEO said she cried on receiving their grant so quickly. Another reported that an elderly couple who received help said, “Whoever are paying for this are our Easter angels.”

Thank you to the donors that make this possible. Because of your generosity, the grants team are looking forward to distributing many  more grants from the Cornwall Emergency Fund.  Whilst we know we will see harrowing accounts of struggle and need, we are secure in the knowledge that we can offer hope and practical assistance where it is most needed.