Financially hard-hit Uckfield charities may receive a cash boost to help them continue their work once the coronavirus pandemic has subsided.
The idea of setting up a crowd-funding scheme has been floated by Uckfield Town Mayor, Cllr Spike Mayhew.
At the same time, East Sussex County Council has announced a scheme to help charities and not-for-profit organisations suffering because of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Full details further down the page.
Cllr Mayhew thanked councillors who were “going above and beyond” and helping out in the local communities.
“Some of us are still working full-time and those that are not are doing a great job,” he said.
“The community needs to know how hard you are working behind the scenes.”
He went on to say Uckfield was a “social town” and when summer started there were many events with organisations holding fund-raisers.
“This is a hard time for charities in Uckfield,” he said.
“One of the ideas I was thinking about was to set up a fund-raising (web) site, like JustGiving.
“I know there are issues around that but I wonder whether we can form some kind of JustGiving page, or similar, where people can donate.
“ I was thinking that once this starts to settle down, the funds that are raised are sent to the Uckfield Lions and the Uckfield Rotary Club, if they are interested and I haven’t asked them, and they can then distribute to the local charities that are in need.”
Cllr Mayhew conceded that there were many issues to explore before such a scheme was set up but pointed out some charities in Uckfield were going to struggle.
A report, setting out possible options, will be prepared for councillors by town council staff.
County council fund to help charities
In a separate development, East Sussex County Council has launched a £300,000 emergency fund to help charities and not-for-profit organisations continue to support communities through the Covid-19 crisis.
The council is inviting voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations whose income has been significantly affected by the Government’s “stay at home” advice, to apply for a grant.
The CV-19 VCSE Emergency Grant Fund will enable the hardest hit to get a cash boost of up to £50,000 within a matter of days of applying.
Cllr Keith Glazier, Leader of East Sussex County Council, said: “The restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the virus, whilst completely necessary, have forced the closure of shops, cafes, social clubs and other services which generate income voluntary and community organisations rely on.
“Without this money, many are struggling to continue the vital work they do in supporting communities and the most vulnerable residents in our county.
“We hope the emergency fund will alleviate some of the pressure on community and voluntary organisations which are doing an amazing job.”
As well as creating the emergency grant fund, East Sussex County Council has contributed £100,000 to the Sussex Crisis Fund run by Sussex Community Foundation, from which organisations can apply for up to £5,000 to help them respond to local needs.
The county council is also supporting district and borough councils to provide community hubs – a central point of contact for those who are isolated, anxious or unwell at home and do not have family or friends they can call on.
Cllr Glazier added: “Now, more than ever, we need to work together to protect our most vulnerable friends, family members and neighbours.
“We can all do our bit to support our frontline workers, volunteers and community organisations by continuing to stay at home and following the Government’s social distancing advice.”
The CV-19 1 VCSE Emergency Grant Fund is open to an East Sussex-based voluntary, community and social enterprise organisation that relies on an income stream that has been significantly affected by the Government restrictions.
For further information and to apply for a grant visit this page on the county council’s website
For information about the Sussex Crisis Fund, set up to support the community and voluntary sector in response to the coronavirus outbreak visit this page [external link]
For information about the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the help and support available, visit this county council page