News

Cambridge charity helps hundreds during lockdown as papers’ scheme nears £1m target

Posted on: July 1, 2020 by Mariella Brown

Cambourne Crescent, a charity backed by a coronavirus community appeal, has responded to over 500 requests from the most vulnerable residents during the Covid-19 crisis.

The Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund, which is supported by local papers the Cambridge News and Cambridge Independent as media partners, has now reached over £850,000 of its £1million target.

Funds from the county’s appeal have enabled the launch of a Volunteer Task Force for the town of Cambourne. The Task Force has facilitated the delivery of groceries and prescriptions to those self-isolating or shielding as well as provided emotional support and phone calls to those feeling isolated.

But in a front-page appeal to readers, the Cambridge News highlighted further assistance is still needed to hit the £1million target. Picturing the army of helpers delivering food parcels and medicine, the News reported that at least 75 volunteers have sustained the initiative during lockdown.

The Cambridge News has seen that as a result of a £14,000 grant from the coronavirus appeal, 70 to 80 food packs can be donated every week to assist residents of Cambourne, a new-build town in South Cambridgeshire.

In other parts of the county, the Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund continues to offer emergency funding to deal with issues affecting vulnerable and elderly members of the community.

Services include tackling the impacts of financial hardship; enabling access to nutritious food; supporting home education for children and young people; and enabling people to access technology to keep them connected to the outside world.

Meanwhile, the Cambridge Independent has reported on the long-term support needed to help the most vulnerable recover from the Covid-19 crisis. The paper revealed that consequences of the pandemic – such as the impact on mental health – will likely impact communities for months in the future.

Paul Brackley, editor of the Cambridge Independent, told the SoE: “This appeal continues to be generously supported and the money raised is making a significant impact in our communities. The Cambridge Independent has been delighted to back the work of the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation by promoting this fund and we hope to help it push over the £1million mark soon.”

On the commitment to the £1m target, Cambridge News editor David Bartlett told the SoE last month how the funding goal was increased from the original £100,000 in increments, until it was established £1m would be needed to provide adequate community support.

“We are committed to making sure the fund gets the coverage it needs so it can provide help where it is most needed,” said Bartlett.

“It is so important that the regional press stand with its communities, and we know there is much more to do. We will continue to do as much as we can to be part of that effort.”

To make a donation to the fund, go to https://justgiving.com/campaign/Coronaviruscommunityfund.