Leeds Community Foundation have launched a fund to support charities and community groups across Leeds that are experiencing exceptional difficulties operating as a result of the National Emergency measures resulting from COVID-19.

Leeds Community Foundation distributes grants, shares advice and uses specialist knowledge to help community projects thrive. The Leeds Community Foundation Resilience Fund will support organisations facing huge challenges around supporting isolated and vulnerable people across Leeds, responding to the needs of these groups by offering urgent financial support to cover core costs, volunteer expenses, staff costs and transport – ensuring this vital work continues.

The Foundation is seeking support from both corporate and individual philanthropists to help fund this local initiative with donations, ensuring that isolated, and fragile communities will be held together during this crisis and community projects will continue to be here to support local people for years to come.

Kate Hainsworth, CEO of Leeds Community Foundation said: “At Leeds Community Foundation we believe the community knows best how to serve their communities. Now more than ever, we need these groups to be resourced to support the vulnerable, the sick and the lonely of Leeds during this national emergency – and beyond, when we all start to rebuild our lives.

We want to help community organisations immediately and effectively, so will be distributing grants in the coming weeks to organisations already known to us and where we have carried out due diligence, meaning grants can be made as quickly as possible. We will be aiming to open a second round of funding in the coming months when more money is raised so we can put out an open call for applications from the wider sector.

We know that community groups rely on their trading income from cafes, shops and from fundraising events – all necessarily stopped by public health measures. Others depend on volunteers currently self-isolating. Until robust plans come forward on how to support these vital organisations, they need to be confident they

have the running costs in place to continue to operate so they are able to support our most vulnerable in the months to come”.

For more information about donating to the Leeds Community Foundation Resilience Fund please contact the Development team by emailing info@leedscf.org.uk. Donations can also be made online via virginmoneygiving.com/fund/LeedsResilienceFund

Leeds Community Foundation is also working closely with partners including the National Emergency Trust (NET) to ensure the Leeds Community Foundation Resilience Fund aligns and complements their national appeal, which will distribute money raised through charitable organisations, including Community Foundations and other national charities. This funding will be in addition to grants we award through the Resilience Fund and may have different arrangements.