The Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund has hit its £1million target backed by local papers the Cambridge Independent and Cambridge News.
The appeal, launched at the end of March, has provided community organisations with emergency funding to support older and vulnerable people as a result of the continuing threat of Covid-19.
Backed by the local media, the project established a dual focus: to gather individual donations via a Just Giving page and focus on corporate and business fundraising to smash the million-pound target.
So far £716,860 has been distributed by the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation to 187 projects addressing issues from financial hardship and hunger to home education and loneliness.
Local paper the Cambridge Independent has highlighted the next stage of the fundraiser will be to support charities and community groups in need of long-term support. The appeal will focus on helping those hit economically, young people, women and families affected by domestic violence, BAME communities and people with disabilities.
Michael O’Toole (pictured), CEO of Cambridgeshire Community Foundation which administers the fund, told the Indy that “we need to look at the long-term support for the most vulnerable to help communities recover from the virus.
“There is already quite a lot of talk and beginnings of research into the longer-term mental health impact on people, the isolation and the trauma the whole thing is going to cause.”
Cambridge Independent editor Paul Brackley said he was keen to continue to support the appeal’s drive: “To surpass £1million is fantastic. I would like to congratulate Cambridgeshire Community Foundation on the achievement, and thank all of those who have donated. We have been pleased to support and publicise the fund, which has done so much to help in these troubled times, and we look forward to helping the foundation continue the fundraising.”
David Bartlett, Cambridge News editor, said: “This campaign has shown what communities can achieve when they pull together. It is a huge effort and I’d like to thank all our readers and businesses that have donated to the fundraising appeal.
“The Cambridgeshire Community Foundation is making sure all money raised is spent in targeted ways that will deliver support where it is most needed.
“Unfortunately much more will be needed, and the hard work does not stop here.”
To make a donation, visit justgiving.com/campaign/Coronaviruscommunityfund.
Picture courtesy of Keith Heppell, Cambridge Independent.