Message to the charitable groups we support in response to COVID-19

18th March 2020

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is far reaching and includes major implications for the charity sector and the communities that they serve.

We recognise that many small, local charities and community groups will be worried about its impact on their work and communities.

We wish to be as helpful as possible during the coming weeks and months so that charitable groups can focus on the vital work of supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. We understand that there will be times when staff and volunteers will not be available, when services may need to be provided in different ways, or when systems need to be flexible to ensure that needs are met. We want to assure you that we:

• Don’t want to add pressure, so we’re going to be as flexible as we can be about grants you already have. If you think you will struggle to meet a reporting deadline, please get in touch with us so that we can agree a more realistic time for you to get things to us wherever possible.

• Understand you may need to use your funding to help cover sickness, purchase equipment, or deliver services differently, and we will be reasonable if you need to adapt your activities and budget your grant differently to ensure your work can continue.

• Are thinking about ways we might be able to provide extra help to organisations so they can continue supporting vulnerable people.

While we don’t want to put any burden on you, it would be helpful to know what sort of work you think could and should be funded for people who may be particularly affected. If you have an idea, please email grants@cumbriafoundation.org

We are doing all we can to make sure the Community Foundation can carry on business as usual. However, we have introduced a series of measures to help delay the spread of the virus. Our precautionary measures take immediate effect and are in line with Government advice and will be kept under review:

• We are making use of telephone, email and digital video conferencing services to virtually meet with others as far as possible.

• We have made the decision to postpone all our events until September 2020.

• Our system allows us to remotely work from home if we need to. We may need to make some other changes, but we will keep you fully informed.

There’s lots of good advice out there, including from NCVO and Cumbria CVS, which we encourage you to look at. We will of course, endeavour to inform you in the event of any further developments.

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