THERE was an inevitability about a third national lockdown with Covid infections rising and hospital ICU beds being rapidly filled across the country but Monday’s announcement will still have come as a blow.
While everyone will suffer the impact of being forced to stay at home, it is an acknowleged fact that those on lower incomes, suffering disabilities or mental health issues or are young, elderly, lonely or isolated will feel the effects far more keenly.
Thank goodness then for the scores of grass roots voluntary groups and charities in Dorset who will be there for those in need throughout this ordeal. And we are there to support and encourage them.
Having already distributed more than £1.2 million through more than 200 grants, we have given them the resource and certainty to ‘stay in the game’ and continue meeting the need on their doorstep.
But the support doesn’t stop there. Our Dorset Community Coronavirus Appeal remains open for donations and will also continue supporting the work of the groups responding to the needs of their communities.
We are working with BCP Council and Dorset Council to distribute money for families and individuals affected by the pandemic. Wessex Water has entrusted us with £40,000 from its community fund for grass roots groups to help them deal with the fallout from the pandemic and that will be distributed in the coming weeks.
Our Neighbourhood Fund will also provide vital funds at grass roots level for voluntary groups who making a huge difference right on their own patch.
Our Surviving Winter campaign has raised £100,000 and made the colder months safer and more bearable for hundreds of older people living in fuel poverty who have been forced to stay at home longer.
The grant support we have given, and will continue to give, will help groups stave off the effects of lost fundraising which have been made worse by an unprecedented rise in demand for their help. Our funding gives their leaders and trustees, their staff and their volunteers certainty, it gives the people they are helping hope.
The money our donors gave so generously also empowered Covid response groups who sprang from nowhere last March to harness the energy of volunteers and have now re-awakened to once again distribute food, run errands, do shopping and collect prescriptions for those who are isolated or shielding.
The last ten months have been a long hard road for the charities and groups we are proud to help sustain and the next few will be equally challenging. But we know their deep reserves of determination, care and compassion will see them through and we are there with them every step of the way.
Donate to the Dorset Community Coronavirus Fund here.