Coronavirus has caused severe distress, loneliness and economic hardship for many people living in Hampshire who are self-isolating or unable to work as the virus rampages through local communities. Hampshire has been hit particularly hard with higher numbers of people testing positive for Covid19 and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) is therefore delighted to announce that VIVID, one of the south of England’s largest housing associations, has donated the incredible amount of £125,000 to launch the HIWCF “We’re All Together” Fund. The new Fund will award grants to help local charities, voluntary organisations and community groups focus on supporting individuals suffering hardship during the outbreak.

Jonathan Cheshire OBE, HIWCF Chairman commented “We would like to thank the team at VIVID for being our first major donor, and for their amazing support and generosity for this campaign. The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented event, which has resulted in charitable groups in our area having to close or significantly amend their services. This loss of services is a risk to beneficiaries and the people of our region but has also had a huge impact on the groups themselves. Many local charities are now looking at severe income losses over the coming months which could jeopardise their future just when they are really needed”.

Jonathan continued “I can also announce that HIWCF is contributing £100,000 from our own reserves to encourage donations from those wanting to help. HIWCF is responding quickly to the crisis and we will ensure that the funding makes a real difference to people at their time of most need and can be distributed quickly. The need for local communities to help each other is more vital now than ever. We are all being encouraged to keep away from each other at the moment, but HIWCF is calling for Hampshire businesses, families and residents to join together and support the ‘We’re All Together’ Fund to help those facing distress and hardship in our area.

Please donate via the HIWCF website: www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/AllTogether

Mark Perry, Chief Executive at VIVID added “We understand the impact the coronavirus outbreak has had, and will continue to have, on communities, particularly the older and most vulnerable in society. It’s important everyone supports one another during this time and the ‘We’re All Together’ Fund is a great way we can help support and make a real difference to the lives of those most affected across our operating area. Through this we can manage our donation to focus on the innovative local projects and groups that are helping address the hardship caused by coronavirus. This includes helping the vulnerable with shopping, collecting prescriptions and offering a friendly voice to make people feel less isolated.”

Mark continued “Community groups can apply for funding by contacting us at VIVID and we’ll support them through the process and release funds quickly to help make a difference immediately.”

HIWCF was established in 2002, and over the last five years has awarded over £5 million in grants across the region to the smaller community and voluntary organisations working at grassroots level to help disadvantaged and vulnerable people. HIWCF has an in-depth understanding of need in the local area and is extremely well placed to distribute the money raised to the local charitable sector, ensuring that funds reach those that that have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Further details about the Fund will be made available on hiwcf.com