Grant Robson, Foundation Director explained: ‘Since 2000, the Foundation has grown from being a fledgling organisation to one that is firmly at the heart of community life in Dorset awarding millions of pounds during this time. Through its grant making and fundraising we have made a significant contribution to the lives of some of the county’s most disadvantaged people.
The Coronavirus emergency created a huge demand for support from hundreds of charities and groups, both established and emerging. Within days of the lock-down starting we set up our Coronavirus Community Fund and corresponding appeal which attracted donations from local companies, generous local individuals, charitable trusts and national funders. We have never been more relevant, acting fast and responding when Dorset needs it most.
Our 20th anniversary celebrations may have to wait until next year but, what better way to mark our birthday this week than talking about the 188 projects we have supported over the last 10 weeks. I am proud of the last 20 years, proud of the people that have been involved along the way and thankful they helped create an organisation able to play a significant role in Dorset in time of need. We are by no means finished and with the help of our donors we will continue funding as Dorset picks itself up, the lock-down retreats and fresh challenges emerge.’
Dorchester Family Support, a project run by Dorchester Foodbank is one of the supported initiatives. The grants of £3,000 will enable the charity to provide food parcels during school holidays to disadvantaged families around Dorchester and the surrounding villages.
People First Dorset, a charity supporting people with learning disabilities also received a grant of £5,000 from the Dorset Coronavirus Community Fund. The funding will enable the group to produce the fortnightly Easy Read publication, which provides clear messaging on Government guidance, health recommendations and information, a beneficiary led friendship and activity section and other relevant topics to help those with learning disabilities cope during the pandemic.
Laura Kerr from People First Dorset explained: ‘The grant from Dorset Community Foundation is enabling people with learning disabilities across Dorset, many of whom struggle to understand COVID-19 information, to receive a fortnightly newsletter from People First Dorset with the latest Government and local updates in an accessible format, together with fun activities, opportunities to connect with friends and to have their questions answered’.