City of Generosity: over £600,000 donated to Coventry community during COVID-19

Organisations in Coventry have come together, donating over £600,000 to help keep community groups and charities afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

More than £600,000 worth of funding has been donated to support charities and community projects across Coventry and Warwickshire during the coronavirus pandemic, a new report has revealed.

Analysis from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) shows grant-giving organisation the Heart of England Community Foundation has pledged around £411,000 to enable 109 voluntary organisations in the area to carry on delivering vital services to local communities.

The Coventry City of Culture Trust have also donated at least £206,000; which has seen £100,000 pledged to help cultural organisations affected by the pandemic to continue with their preparations for Coventry’s year as City of Culture, which will now start in May 2021

As part of their efforts, the Coventry City of Culture Trust has also set up a £60,000 coronavirus resilience fund for individuals and organisations working within the cultural sector who have been impacted by loss of earnings.

They also made £46,000 available for 92 local residents who applied for the Trust’s Leadership Programme to continue developing ideas for the city’s year in the spotlight.

The widespread support comes at a time when Coventry’s voluntary organisations have had to battle unprecedented challenges to continue operating, including the financial implications.

Some charities have also seen a rise in competition for their paid-for services from pop-up community groups on social media who are offering similar services for free.

The CWLEP’s report also revealed that the private sector – which provides substantial support to charities – is showing promising signs of recovery with supermarkets and delivery companies advertising for an increasing number of vacancies in the region – with nurses being the most popular current vacancy.

Craig Humphrey, managing director of the CWLEP Growth Hub, praised the community spirit that has been shown towards the region’s voluntary organisations.

“Community groups and voluntary organisations are the bedrock of society and make a life-changing difference to so many people, yet demand for their services has intensified amid a backdrop that has made it difficult for them to continue operating,” he said.

“The CWLEP Growth Hub and partner organisations have been here to support the third sector organisations that make such a difference to the most disadvantaged residents.

“The overall picture of the region’s business community is one of cautious optimism. We know first-hand that there is likely to be some short-term pain in the way of redundancies in the region as the government’s furlough scheme ends, but businesses are already planning recruitment campaigns from September onwards.”