OVER 600 grants totalling just over £2m have been awarded to organisations and families from Kent Community Foundation Emergency Funds, which were set up in March in response to the overwhelming needs of communities across Kent and Medway.
To put the enormity of this in context, Kent Community Foundation usually provides grants totalling £2.5m over a twelve-month period. In what has been a very difficult time for the charitable sector the Foundation will award over £4m to good causes across the county this year.
The grants of between £250 and £16,000 have been awarded to grassroots charities who make a huge difference within their community. One charity that approached the Foundation for support was Curly’s Legacy, a smallholding and garden-based in Leysdown on the Isle of Sheppey, that schools, young people, and vulnerable adults visit to meet and interact with animals including sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and llamas.
On their application, Curly’s Legacy told Kent Community Foundation that the Coronavirus outbreak had had a devastating impact. During the lockdown, they were not permitted to have any visitors to the farm and the donations that these visitors made was the income they relied on to keep the farm operating. The donations paid for staffing and the upkeep of the farm including feeding the animals and without help, the future looked bleak. Kent Community Foundation awarded Curly’s Legacy £3,000 to help them overcome the difficulties they were facing during the pandemic.
Kyle Ratcliffe, Farm Manager and Head of Charity, Curly’s Legacy, said:
“When the country was put into lockdown, we knew we would be in real trouble. Our expenditure to run the farm would remain the same as when we were open to the public. We still had to pay staff and there were rent and animal feed bills to pay. We had never approached Kent Community Foundation for help before and the £3,000 they awarded to us was an absolute lifeline to enable the Farm to survive lockdown and ensure we were ready to welcome families and vulnerable adults back when restrictions were lifted.”
Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said:
“Curly’s Legacy is just one of the hundreds of charities, community groups and struggling families that have received a grant from the Emergency COVID Fund. Most of the charities we have supported are small, but their size belies the huge difference they are making within their community. These grassroots charities are led by those who truly see, and in most cases, have experienced the challenges of those in need and understand what changes will bring about a positive difference. In September we would usually invite charities and community groups we have supported to a ‘Causes that Matter’ event with The High Sheriff to celebrate the amazing work they do across the county. We will instead share videos and stories, across our social media channels to highlight the invaluable work these organisations do to support the community.”
To find out more about the organisations that have been supported by the Emergency Fund visit www.kentcf.org.uk/coronavirus-case-studies