Independent grant making charity the One Community Foundation based in Huddersfield has today announced that it has awarded half a million pounds to Kirklees based charities, from its Coronavirus Response Fund.

At a time when they have never been more needed, many charities and voluntary organisations are stepping up and responding in the crisis. More than 150 grants have been distributed by the One Community Foundation and many more will be provided in the coming weeks.

Emma Woods-Bolger from the One Community Foundation said “For the past ten years, One Community has been at the heart of the community in Kirklees, even before the crisis One Community had awarded over a million pounds to local charities. Because of our previous experience, we knew charities and community groups were going to play a key part in the response to the crisis, and we were determined to stand together with them and the communities we serve during the Coronavirus crisis”.

The One Community Foundation established the Kirklees Coronavirus Response Fund in April and distribute grants exceptionally quickly with most applications being dealt with within a few days of being received. The contributions came from individuals, businesses and other charitable trusts including the National Emergencies Trust.

Emma commented “The scale of the situation means we must continue to act, we must pull together and get funding to our vital charitable organisations, the recover from this crisis will be hard, we all know that, but imagine how much hard it would be without those charities”.

The fund is helping organisations like, the Purpose of Life charity, thanks to a grant of £5,000 they have been able to provide hundreds of food parcels and essentials to help support the elderly and vulnerable who have been affected by the Coronavirus crisis.

Sajad Hussain from the charity said “The funding from One Community Foundation was a tremendous help as it enabled the charity to step-up to continue to pay for the costs of making and distributing the food parcels, as reliance upon food parcels increased over the lock-down period. The additional funding ensured that we could continue to provide the support by delivering between 15-25 parcels a day, seven days a week as part of the Covid-19 response.”

Another local group to receive support is The Denby Dale Centre.  One Community have provided the group with funding from the Coronavirus Emergency to help it cope with greatly increased and changed demand on its services.

Paul Jones, the Chief Officer of the group says:

“The corona virus led us to change nearly all of our 20 projects in Kirklees.  Our transport team turned into a web-logistics team, processing food orders, prescription collection requests, dog walkers and buddying up people for the phone chatterbox service.  Our volunteer coordinator processed and safeguard checked over 250 new volunteers in the first month.  Our activities team became call handlers, either taking calls from people requesting help or calling existing members to make sure they were okay and connected.  Our Training Manager has turned to a film director and producer, and created a series of distance learning videos for volunteers.

We have received calls from people reaching out for someone to simply talk to.  One caller had recently lost her husband and was still grieving, and was struggling with being on her own.  Another caller was 20 weeks pregnant, and had not eaten for over 20 hours and reached out to our emergency food order – we delivered a much-needed food parcel next morning – this lady was on her own, and broke down in tears of relief that help was nearby. We have been contacted from London, Suffolk and Essex, where sons and daughters of our local older people are arranging food orders for their parents.

One lady wrote to us and said “You’ve just made a grown woman cry with relief. I can’t thank you and your volunteers enough for the work that you are doing, I will pass your information on to my mum. Thank you”

Another said “I just wanted to say a big thank you. My wife was getting rather concerned about our situation and is particularly grateful to all the Volunteers and DDC for coming to our rescue and keeping us going throughout the weeked'”