Tuesday, 02 June 2020 03:30

Malmesbury Emergency Hardship Fund boost Featured

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An emergency hardship fund to support vulnerable people and families in the Malmesbury area during the coronavirus pandemic has raised more than £15,000.

The fun, which is run by Heals of Malmesbury, is paying for three meals a week for isolated older people and families.

It is also funding the repair of donated IT equipment to enable young people to do their schoolwork at home.

Through its Local Giving appeal, Heal’s emergency fund has received more than

Cllr Gavin Grant, Heal's chair of trustees said: "We hoped to raise £10,000 to help feed local people, repair IT kit, replace broken household items and keep people out of debt.

“Individual donations have taken us a very long way to hitting that target.

“But we’ve smashed it, thanks to individual givers plus some amazing donations from local organisations. I really cannot thank them enough.

“Their generosity means we can make a massive difference to vulnerable people, old and young who really need help, and will continue to do so."

The Fund and generous support from Malmesbury Area Community Trust are also replacing broken essential household equipment local people cannot afford to fund themselves.

Through its Local Giving appeal, Heals’ Emergency Hardship Fund has received more than £5,500 from individual donations, with Gift Aid adding a further £1,000.

These included hundreds of pounds from Hankerton residents who ran a socially distanced marathon around their close in Follyfield.

One of the major donors was Malmesbury League of Friends. Their chair David Hide, said: "We are delighted to donate £2,000 to Heals in support of their Emergency Hardship Fund, which is undertaking vital work in providing ready meals and food vouchers for those most in need."

Other major organisations who donated to the fund include The Masonic Order of Athelstan, Warden & Freemen of Malmesbury, Malmesbury & St Pauls Without Residents Association and Kingsbeech Ltd, Cirencester.

Local organisations are also giving Heals a helping hand to ensure the charity itself has a real chance of surviving this crisis.

The charity has had to increase its ability to help those that really need it, leading to an increase in its operating costs.

Before that happened, Heals was already facing a shortfall in the anticipated income of £12,000 from lost fundraising, due to the health crisis.

Fortunately, it has now received donations to cover this initial shortfall but still needs to find funds to keep going.

“It is becoming clear we will need much more of that spirit of generosity, both to sustain Heals as a charity and to ensure we can support everyone through this crisis through the Hardship Fund,” Cllr Grant added.

Contributions to Heals’ general running costs, or the Emergency Hardship Fund can still be made at https://localgiving.org/charity/healsmalmesbury/ or via the Heals website www.healsmalmesbury.co.uk

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