The Hampshire housing association VIVID has awarded the final donation from its £125,000 fund for community groups helping local people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
VIVID has been working with the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) to donate £125,000 to Hampshire and Berkshire groups through the We’re All Together campaign.
The campaign aims to support local community groups and charities helping people cope during the coronavirus pandemic.
The fund’s final donation has been awarded to A World With Friends, a Portsmouth-based organisation that supports families with chronically sick and disabled young people.
Jonathan Cowie, chief operating officer at VIVID, said: “Coronavirus continues to have a profound impact on many of our communities. As well as supporting our customers, particularly those who are older, self-isolating or facing financial difficulties, we also wanted to help and support the communities in which we work.
“We’re delighted to have worked with HIWCF to award funding to so many groups in our communities, who have provided support and been a much-needed lifeline to so many during this difficult time. The initiative has been a great success, and as a result of it, a further £2 million has been donated from other organisations.
“It’s made us realise we can do even more to help make a difference which we’re gearing up to start in the new year. We’re also exploring other immediate support and funding options to help our communities through the second national lockdown.”
A total of 41 organisations accessed funding via the We’re All Together fund, helping them to support people through initiatives such as providing children with replacement school meals and a domestic violence helpline.
Following the success of the fund, VIVID now plans to launch its own charitable arm, VIVID+, which will further support VIVID’s customers and local communities.
VIVID+ will start operating in January 2021 with an initial budget of £21 million to invest in making long-term positive impacts to the areas it serves.
Rebecca Kennelly MBE, chair of trustees at HIWCF said: “It’s at times like these that we are reminded that community really matters and being able to identify and respond quickly to local needs is a key value for the Foundation.
“We would like to thank the team at VIVID for prioritising those needing help and support across Hampshire and we will continue working to help our local charitable sector to respond well and recover strongly from the impact of this pandemic.”
Emma Hine, CEO of A World With Friends, commented: “The young people that we work with are constantly isolated and confined by their health conditions.
“The grant from HIWCF from the VIVID ‘We’re All Together’ Fund will enable us to continue our work and will go towards setting up a helpline for local young people and their parents or carers who just want someone to talk to.”
“Not everyone is able to use the internet or mobile apps, and sometimes just being able to pick up the phone and hear someone say, ‘Hello, how are you today?’ can make the difference between a good day and a bad one. Together with the HIWCF and VIVID ‘We’re All Together’ Fund we are able to make this happen.”
VIVID is Hampshire’s largest provider of affordable homes, managing 31,000 homes and providing services to 72,000 customers in the south of England spanning Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire and West Sussex.
The housing association aims to build at least 17,000 new homes over the next 10 years, including thousands of social homes.