Aberdeen Covid-19 hardship fund reminder to local charities

The Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust Aberdeen Covid-19 Hardship Fund has so far awarded a total of £202,670 to 34 local charities but it is keen to help even more.

The aim of the Hardship Fund is to raise much-needed cash for Aberdeen-based registered charities to help individuals, families and communities across the city experiencing severe financial hardship as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since its launch on Friday 01 May 2020, it has raised over a quarter of a million pounds (£251,041) thanks to donations from members of the public, business people, and donations of £100,000 from the Seven Incorporated Trades Widows’ Charity and £100,000 from Aberdeen City Council via the Common Good Fund.

The closing date for the third round of applications is 11.59pm on Tuesday 30 June with the Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust due to meet in early July to review the latest submissions.

Charities wishing to apply for funding should visit https://www.aberdeencovid19.org/apply for further information and advice. The Trust is keen to support groups that are particularly at risk and which may not be receiving support elsewhere. Applicants are asked to highlight if they plan to support Looked After Children, care experienced and vulnerable young adults at risk or minority communities facing financial difficulties in Aberdeen.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Barney Crockett said: “Thanks to the marvellous donations raised by the Aberdeen Covid-19 appeal we’ve been able to support many different charities across the city to help those most in need due to the pandemic. We’re keen to help more charities and we would urge any local registered charity that hasn’t applied previously to apply now.

“I’ve been fortunate to see first-hand how the funding is helping local people, albeit while observing physical distancing, and I have found it has been a very humbling experience.”

Mervyn Donald, Deacon Convenor, The Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen, said: “We are delighted at the response from individuals and businesses during this time - without their donations, we wouldn’t have managed to reach as many families and individuals as we have. These charities work tirelessly, and this doesn’t stop during a pandemic, which shows great strength.

“Charities that fit the criteria should not hesitate to apply as applications for the third round of funding will close on Tuesday 30 June.”

One of the charities to receive financial support in the second round of funding was the Breadmaker, a social enterprise that is an artisan bakery and coffee house, which produces high quality bread and confectionary and provides meaningful work, training, educational and social activities to adults with learning disabilities.

The Lord Provost, the Deacon Convenor and Craig Matheson, Factor, of the Trades Widows’ Charity visited the Breadmaker, to see first-hand how the hardship fund is helping the charity during these very challenging times.

Donald Anderson, CEO of the Breadmaker said: "The Breadmaker are delighted to have been awarded funding from the Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust Covid-19 fund. We are now able to buy IT technology which will help all our adults with learning disabilities (apprentices) connect with their co-workers and friends during the pandemic and once they return to work."

Other local charities that benefited from the second round of funding included Northsound Cash for Kids and Aberdeen SANDS.

Michelle Ferguson, Charity Manager, Northsound Cash for Kids said: “Northsound Cash for Kids was lucky enough to receive £10,000 from the Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust Aberdeen COVID-19 Appeal and we cannot thank them enough. The money was distributed within 48 hours of receiving it. We distribute grants to support children and their families who have found themselves in crises at this time and so far, we have helped 2,755 local children. This donation has enabled us to provide support to 285 children, helping their family with the basic essentials such as food and heating.”

Aberdeen SANDS committee said: “We would like to thank the Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust COVID-19 hardship fund for the kind donation to Aberdeen SANDS. Due to the COVID-19 we are unable to host face to face support meetings or meet families in person. We are having to rely on social media and zoom to support these families following the loss of their precious baby and also support those who are expecting after a loss. This money will be invaluable for us to enable us to continue supporting all bereaved families and we are very grateful for the donation.”

Donations are still being sought and a special crowdfunding page on www.aberdeencovid19.org allows anyone anywhere to donate to this worthy cause.

Any organisation or individual wishing to discuss making a sizable donation can email lordprovost@aberdeencity.gov.uk  marking it for the attention of Garry Watson, Clerk to The Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust.

100% of all donations received will go directly to helping those experiencing genuine hardship in Aberdeen due to COVID-19.

The special hardship fund is a partnership between The Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust, The Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen and Aberdeen City Council. It was created following a request to the Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett, from The Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen and a local businessman, for the Charitable Trust, to be used as a vehicle to create a hardship fund for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.