We are delighted to announce that Zurich Community Trust has made a second donation of £25,000 to our Coronavirus Response and Recovery Foundation. The Trust also donated £25,000 last April and its support has been vital in helping voluntary groups respond to demand from people impacted by the crisis.

Steve Grimmett, Head of Zurich Community Trust said: “We cannot ignore the uphill struggle that all charities have faced over the last year. Many have had to dramatically drawback on their activity and some have had to stop the tasks that help them generate income all together.

“Wiltshire Community Foundation’s service to its local communities must not be ignored and their work in helping voluntary groups respond to those severely impacted by the Covid crisis has only increased with each passing day. We are very proud to provide them financial as well as practical support – this will ensure that they can consistently keep carrying out all their fantastic work.”

Commenting on the donation, our Joint Chief Executive Fiona Oliver said: “We are very thankful for this support from Zurich, they have always shown huge generosity and awareness of the needs of the community. We have seen many groups struggling to keep going after having to overcome so many challenges. They are seeing huge spikes in demand at same time as losing vital revenue and eating into their reserves.

“They have had to invest in new technology to switch to online contact while being unable to hold fundraising events or provide the services that bring in income. Our fund, supported by brilliant donors like Zurich, is helping to plug the gaps in their finances as well as pay towards some of the investment they have had to make in staff and equipment to adapt.”

Among the groups recently supported by the Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund is Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, which received £4,500 for its work with unemployed adults through its Building Bridges programme.

Coordinator Debbie Bentley said “The number of referrals has doubled since the pandemic. Our participants come from a variety of backgrounds. Some have recently been homeless and looking for ways to support themselves, others have various medical conditions that have made it difficult for them to work, some have been on career breaks to undertake caring for relatives or dependants and now need to find work. We support them to overcome their barriers and gain confidence to find ways to become work ready.”

“The majority of our participants are on low incomes and cannot afford the IT to further their journey towards finding work. Often, they join in our activities using only a mobile phone. The grant will pay for laptops and tablets to enable them to take part in training courses and programmes designed to build their confidence. It will make a huge difference.”

More information on our Coronavirus Response Appeal can be found here.


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