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VIVID allocates final grant from £125,000 coronavirus community group fund

Leading housing association VIVID has awarded its final donation in its £125,000 fund for community groups that are helping to support people in need across Hampshire and Berkshire during the coronavirus pandemic – and it has plans to do more to help for the long-term.

Set up in the early stages of lockdown, VIVID has worked in partnership with the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) to allocate £125,000 through the ‘We’re All Together’ Campaign. The funds have been donated to local community groups and charities that are helping people tackle the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The final donation from the fund has been awarded to A World With Friends, an organisation based in Portsmouth that supports families with chronically sick and disabled young people.

In total, 41 organisations accessed the funding, all of which played a vital role in supporting people through a range of local initiatives including providing replacement school meals, a domestic violence helpline, and offering a friendly voice as well as advice to help people feel more secure and less isolated during these unprecedented times.

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 £2m 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.”

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 HIWCF and VIVID 'We're All Together' Fund we are able to make this happen.”

Emma Boast from The Vine Centre, based in Aldershot, another recipient of the fund, said: “Since receiving funding we've been able to increase our Vineline helpline opening hours which saw an increase of around 30 calls from the previous week. Although it is shocking to see just how many people do need our support, we are glad we are in a position to help and extremely grateful for having received funding to be able to continue these clearly much needed services.”

Following its £125,000 community investment, VIVID’s recently announced a new charitable arm, which aims to provide brighter futures for its customers and local communities. VIVID+ will start operating in January 2021 with an initial £21 million to invest in making a long-term impact in the local areas in which it serves. Find out more here.