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Friday, 25 September 2020

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Heart of England offers a helping hand to Women’s Aid charities

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WITH many of us spending more – if not all – our time at home as a result of COVID-19, Women’s Aid has flagged the direct impact this has had on those experiencing domestic abuse.

As calls to crisis centres experience a 25% spike since the start of lockdown, it seems that home is an unsafe space for many; in a bid to help, Women’s Aid charities from across the region have been making new provisions to ensure that they are able to help those who find themselves in this situation during these difficult times.

To help these efforts during the lockdown, Heart of England Community Foundation has ramped up its financial support for these charities across the region. Through its Coronavirus Resilience Fund, the Foundation has provided grants to a wealth of charities across all sectors, including multiple Women’s Aid Federations, ensuring that they’re able to support women during the pandemic.

With more people having to stay at home due to the on-going effects of COVID-19, more vulnerable women suffering from domestic abuse are turning to organisations, such as Women’s Aid, to seek guidance and support. However, this is at a time when charities across the country are reporting that they are rapidly losing donations, because of those affected economically by the virus.

As a result, grant-giving charity Heart of England Community Foundation has had to rally to extend its support, ensuring that vital services like this can continue support clients when they need it most.

Since launching its Coronavirus Resilience Fund on March 23, the Foundation has supported over 300 charities and organisations across the West Midlands and Warwickshire, awarding more than £450k worth of grants to several women’s charities, including Go-Women! Alliance CIC, Coventry Haven Women’s Aid, Women Empowering Women, Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid. The charities were awarded grants between £1,500 and £30,000, giving them a chance to continue the on-going support they provide Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Solihull and North Warwickshire.

Tina Costello, Chief Executive at Heart of England Community Foundation, commented:

“With the pandemic still continuing to cause a wave of concern across so many charities and organisations, we still feel a great depth of responsibility to make sure that they can continue to carry out their vital work to support those who need it most during these uncertain times.

“It is devastating to see the rise in reports and need for support to women across the region, and it is vital that we continue to award grants to those who are offering such vital care to those affected in our communities. Charities like this offer so much help to those in need, so we need to ensure we help them to continue providing such life-saving services and secure a future for them beyond the pandemic.”

Nearly three months down the line, the Foundation’s fund has awarded more than £1m to charities and grassroots organisations across all sectors, as well as launching an additional fund, ‘Doing Things Differently’, which offers grants of up to £20k to help organisations adapt the way they work as we move into the ‘new normal’.

If you wish to learn more about the Coronavirus Resilience Fund or to find out how to apply, visit: https://www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk/coronavirus-resilience-fund/. If you’d like to donate to the fund, visit: http://virginmoneygiving.com/fund/crf.

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