We’ve recently awarded £375,000 in our new Response and Resilience Fund to 125 of our network community partners, helping them continue to support local people to engage with digital.
With 11.9 million people in the UK lacking the essential digital skills they need, and many relying on getting online more than ever before, the issue of digital exclusion has never been more relevant.
The unrestricted grant funding, sourced from an initial £375,000 contribution from Good Things Foundation's own reserves, will provide a significant cash injection to the community partners who need it to help them survive.
The grants will allow organisations to use the funding flexibly to cover ongoing costs and help mitigate loss of income and other financial strains - so they can continue to support their communities. It will also help enable their digital inclusion delivery to continue, and to ensure they are in a position to reopen their physical doors once the current challenges subside. Many are continuing to deliver their services on a virtual basis where possible.
Our hyperlocal community partners are facing very challenging times, with the spread of coronavirus impacting not only the work they do but also the people they support.
One organisation continuing to deliver services during these difficult times is Starting Point Community Learning Partnership in Stockport, who are helping hundreds of local people including Patrick and Patricia Martin. The Martins have been attending digital skills sessions for nearly two years.
They say: “Using the iPads has enabled us to keep in touch with the wider world more easily, order things online, view an immense range of interesting things on YouTube and even learn a few new skills. We feel like we have overcome our fears of the ‘new technology’ and the things that were holding us back mentally and practically have now been overcome.”
Helen Milner, Chief Executive of Good Things Foundation says: “We hope the fund will help to alleviate some of the severe operational and financial pressures that community organisations are experiencing - and will help them to be able to continue to support the local peoples who need it most. We could never find Reserves to fund as many organisations as we’d like to, but I do hope that this funding will contribute towards the sustainability of our local partners who do receive it.”
Shannon Gorman, Fundraiser at Walthew House said: “Walthew House has been supporting people with a sight or hearing loss in Stockport since 1882. The Good Things Foundation Response and Resilience Fund will allow us to not only continue to provide new services, like our remote tech support, but it will also support our core costs. This means less worry about being able to get back to usual activities once the current coronavirus challenge subsides.”