Urgent Response Fund launched to support the district’s most vulnerable


March 24, 2020

An urgent plea for donations to help the district’s most vulnerable residents through the coronavirus pandemic has been launched.

The Morecambe Bay Foundation has set up an Urgent Response Fund to provide financial support to community organisations across the Lancaster district that are working to mitigate the impact of the outbreak.

Local organisations, including food banks (Morecambe Bay Foodbank and The Olive Branch), food clubs (via Eggcup) and community centres (e.g. Stanley’s Community Centre), will be supported initially as they scale up their operations to be able to meet the demand for access to food from the most vulnerable members of the community.

Yak Patel, CEO of Lancaster District CVS and spokesperson for the Morecambe Bay Foundation, said: “Food banks, food clubs and community centres are facing unprecedented demand, as many people who have never accessed these services before now need to. Our priority will be providing support for the most vulnerable people, focusing on the most acute cases first.

"This fund will help us buy food and supplies as well as improve our ability to be able to reach those most in need. We are asking those members of the public who can, to give whatever they can, so that we are able to tackle these challenges together.”

Details of the application process of how groups can access the funds will be announced shortly.

The coronavirus has forced schools and businesses to close, people to work from home and vulnerable people to isolate themselves from others - all adding new challenges to the ones already being tackled by local statutory, voluntary, community, faith, and social enterprise sector organisations.

As is often the case during times of great need, most members of the public want to help in any way they can. The purpose of this partnership is to give people an opportunity to donate much needed funds, all of which will go directly to local organisations working to support those affected by the current outbreak.

Your donations will buy food and supplies and cover the costs associated with making sure they reach those who need them.

The Morecambe Bay Foundation has been established by Lancaster District CVS, a charity that has been supporting local communities for almost 50 years, to build on two decades of experience of fundraising and grant-making.

Lancaster City Council, along with the Eric Wright Charitable Trust, have already made donations to help launch this initiative as quickly as possible.

Donations can be made at www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/coronavirus. If you have any questions about The Urgent Response Fund or Morecambe Bay Foundation, please email [email protected].

For the council’s most up to date information about coronavirus please visit Lancaster.gov.uk/coronavirus.