Heart Of England Community Foundation Birmingham And Solihull Womens Aid (1)

After launching its Doing Things Differently Fund, Heart of England Community Foundation has supported a wealth of charities across the region, awarding over £872,000 of funding so far.

Following on from the success of the foundation’s Coronavirus Resilience Fund, this latest designated pot of money is aiming to ensure that community projects can adapt safely to the ‘new normal’ so that they can continue carrying out essential support in their area. Since launching the new fund in May, the charity has supported 35 projects across Birmingham.

Stretching across the West Midlands and Warwickshire, the foundation has lent a helping hand to a combined total of 70 causes across the West Midlands since it launched the Doing Things Differently Fund, with grants between £3,000 to £20,000 being awarded to support everything from online support groups to funding wellbeing packs.

Birmingham is one of the many areas that has benefitted from the fund, with 35 causes receiving a combined total of £469,534 from Heart of England Community Foundation, including vital services like Haven Community Project, Urban Devotion Birmingham and Innovating Minds CIC.

Other charities that have received funding are Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid, which will be using the grant to pay for salaries to increase support via the telephone helpline, supporting women in a time where they need it most.

Commenting on the support that they’ve had from the Foundation, Sally Dennis from Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid, said: “As COVID and lockdown began we knew that our helpline - always an important service for local women experiencing domestic abuse - would become central to women's' ability to seek the help they needed. We didn’t anticipate just how many women would reach out to talk to us.

“In June, we responded to over 900 calls from women seeking guidance and support, twice as many as this time last year. We couldn’t have done this without the funding from Heart of England Community Foundation.”

Since lockdown was enforced back in March due to COVID-19, vital services across the region have seen a spike in demand from those seeking support, which means that community organisations need more support now than ever before in order to carry on operating under the current challenging circumstances.

Tina Costello, Chief Executive at Heart of England Community Foundation, said: “Following on from the success of the Coronavirus Resilience Fund, which we launched earlier in the year, we have been able to provide support to so many incredible community charities and services across the West Midlands.

"By launching the Doing Things Differently Fund, we have been able to continue providing support to a multitude of community services which, in turn, enables them to help vulnerable people.

“We have such a huge passion and drive to do what we can to ensure that these vital services make it safely through this pandemic, and we’ve been inundated with applications from so many communities that need our support during this turbulent time.

"As an organisation, we are thrilled that we have been able to provide over £593,000 and we are determined to keep doing everything that we can to keep these community afloat as we continue to move forward into the new normal.”

To find out more about the fund and how to apply, visit the Doing Things Differently Fund website.

Neina Sheldon
Article by Neina Sheldon
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