Hampshire Charities get support from Zurich Community Trust Covid Package
• Local charities have been awarded £53,000 including; Alzheimer’s Society, KIDS, Solent Mind (Upturn Project) and Society of St James
• A total of £15,000 has been awarded to Step by Step, a Fareham-based homeless charity
• All charities are current or previous partners of Zurich’s charitable arm in the UK, Zurich Community Trust (ZCT) and selected by Zurich’s 450 Fareham based employees
• Funding is part of £2m aid package announced in May by ZCT
The Zurich Community Trust (ZCT) - Zurich’s UK charitable arm has reached its half-way milestone in awarding £1m in funding to charities working to support those hardest hit by the Covid-19 crisis. This includes donations of over £53,000 to Fareham based charities as part of a £2m support package announced in May. Step by Step Local recipients include Step by Step, a regional charity supporting a Havant-based Foyer in East Street that supports local young people who are going through hard times, including homelessness. They also provide accommodation, personal development opportunities, and specialist support services including counselling. ZCT’s most recent grant of £15,000 helped provide relief to vulnerable young people experiencing homelessness. The grant has been used for a variety of things, providing food, toiletries and other essential items, enabling support and access to counselling which benefits mental health, and finally items to support training and development to break the barriers into education, employment of training. All of these items are imperative to support a young individual through their transition from homelessness to independent living. As well as funding for Step by Step, the following charities were all chosen by Zurich’s 450 Fareham-based employees, The Alzheimer’s Society (UK’s leading dementia charity), KIDS (services for disabled children and their families), The Solent Mind Upturn Project (providing mental health support and education for young people) and Society of St James (support for the homelessness with problematic alcohol or substance use as well as mental health issues). To bolster ZCT’s financial support, Zurich’s employees have also provided skills-based assistance. This includes a series of webinars covering issues like digital marketing and an external PR workshop, looking at how charities can share stories about the invaluable services they’re providing. The insurer is also looking to launch its suite of over 50 online training courses provided by Hemsley Fraser to partner charities in October. Staff are also being encouraged to use their three allocated volunteering days as an opportunity to support people and communities affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Commenting on ZCT’s support, Jenna Grant, Corporate Partnerships Officer at Step by Step, comments, “We are so grateful for the ZCT’s support which has allowed us to sustain and enhance our service for vulnerable young people in need of housing, counselling and/or training - their grant goes way beyond covering the simple yet essential things like overheads. “Whilst young people appear to be at less physical risk from COVID-19, there is evidence that they are disproportionately affected in a number of key areas including housing and homelessness; employment and education; and mental health – all areas that Step by Step supports. Our work is ongoing and we continue to work with all of our partners to empower young people towards a brighter future by breaking the cycle of youth homelessness.” Steve Grimmett, Head of Zurich Community Trust added, “We are acutely aware of the huge challenges facing charities over recent months with many having to stop the activities that help them generate income. At the same time, with many people at home and potentially isolated, the services they provide are needed more than ever. “In response, we’ve refocused our efforts to help fund the charities we have existing relationships with who are working to support those most affected – Step by Step is a fantastic example of this. We remain committed to all our charity partners and will continue to support them over the coming weeks and months - and we hope to announce more funds in the near future.”
National donations to date include • Dementia UK - £75,000 to fund additional nurses on Dementia UK's Helpline over the next 12-week period, providing support to families who are struggling during what has become a very isolating and challenging time. • Wiltshire Community Foundation - £25,000 to contribute towards the Wiltshire & Swindon Coronavirus appeal, which will support community organisations across Wiltshire given Zurich’s 40-year history in the county • The Good Gym - £200,000 donation to support a new partnership with the charity where runners are combining exercise with helping to provide deliveries and support for vulnerable people during the current crisis. The charity has an active group in Swindon as well as Bath and Bristol. • £609,938 of support to 15 local partner organisations in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Croydon, Farnborough, Fareham, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester and Swindon.