The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted many lives and we have taken on the responsibility to help charities and community groups get through the lockdown by delivering charitable services.
The Foundation has authorised a series of urgent grants to help groups affected by COVID-19. In particular, our focus has been on supporting care workers and the care sector, which has been particularly badly hit by the virus.
As part of our support for the sector, we recently announced our partnership with National Care Force, which is getting volunteers to where they are needed in care. The programme links volunteers with care providers that need help, depending on each volunteer’s skills and experience. Volunteers can help in a range of roles, including everything from covering clinical needs to running errands such as picking up shopping or doing laundry for those self-isolating.
Our local community has also been hard hit by the lockdown, and the Foundation is offering much needed help to people living near our offices in Potters Bar. Thanks to funds from the Foundation a community radio station has been set up for people struggling in the local area. The aim of the station is to help combat isolation and offer a source of comfort and hope to the many people locally who are finding the experience of the lockdown lonely and difficult.
Potters Bar Radio is broadcast from the homes of five presenters who live in the area and offers a range of programmes featuring local voices, to provide a sense of community and togetherness during the lockdown. The radio station received £2,500 of funding through our Community Grants to help it get set up with the equipment it needed to begin broadcasting its message of mutual support to the local community.
Founder of Potters Bar Radio, Chris Cook, said:
“We’re very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve in such a short time, and we’ve already seen the impact it’s having. Many of our listeners are living alone or are separated from their families and friends, but by listening to Potters Bar Radio they feel a sense of connection to their local community. I’ve had some wonderful feedback from people phoning in to our shows, and it’s amazing how powerful the radio can be in bringing people together in times of adversity.”
Jonathan Freeman, Chief Executive of the CareTech Foundation, said:
“Coronavirus has put the whole country under huge strain, and at the CareTech Foundation we are particularly aware of the challenges it poses to the care sector and charitable groups.
The crisis has also brought about an outpouring of goodwill, with hundreds of thousands of people volunteering to give help where needed. With our support the National Care Force will see many of these volunteers channelled into the care sector where their support will be gladly welcomed. The crisis has also been a catalyst for us to get more closely involved with the fantastic community work happening right on our doorstep in Potters Bar. The Potters Bar Radio station is using radio waves to spread a vital message of reassurance and encouragement, and I hope that it is the first of many projects we will be supporting in the area.”
As well as providing crisis funds directly where needed, the CareTech Foundation has also joined with other organisations in the care sector to support the #SparkleForSocialCare campaign. The campaign is calling for greater recognition of care workers, with people demonstrating their support each Monday using the hashtag #SparkleforSocialCare. The campaign is also calling for donations to the Sparkle for Social Care Crisis Appeal, via: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sparkle-for-Social-Care