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We have already seen a rise in demand for the vital support that our local community organisations and charities provide. More people are coming through their door with more complex problems to deal with, such as financial hardship and debt, rising energy costs and the lack of affordable food. But the rising cost of living is also hitting these organisations hard – they are having to do more with less – as they try to meet this increase in demand but with less capacity to do so.
Recognizing this, and with the support of our fund holders, we have quickly distributed grants to front-line debt advice organisations and those supporting vulnerable older people throughout our area. We are now planning to do the same to support groups working with people in food poverty and those helping people with their energy and fuel costs.
In Bristol specifically, we are working alongside Bristol One City to fund a network of community hubs and community activity, where local people and communities can mobilise much needed support, advice and practical help ahead of winter. We have already distributed funding to 18 of these hubs, located in communities right across the city, and to two major partnerships providing well-being and advice support. Alongside this, we have set up a Cost of Living Social Action small grants programme, which will be making grants to smaller community based organisations providing immediate and practical support in their areas.
This is only the start and we have launched this new Cost of Living Fund to enable us not only to expand this programme across all our areas (BANES, Bristol, North Somerset and South Glos) but also to meet what we fully expect to be hundreds of additional requests for support in priority areas such as food and fuel poverty, debt advice and health and mental wellbeing support. Our grants programmes are often inundated with far more applications than we can fund and, given the nature of this crisis, it’s vital that we can scale up our activities.
The role played by our community groups and charities was vital during the pandemic and remains so now. Our fund holders are working with us to support them – but we need more people to join them.
You can donate any amount, no matter how small or large* to the Cost of living fund by using the donate button on our website. If you are considering making a significant donation, please do speak first with our Philanthropy Director, Ronnie Brown. He will be able to offer advice on how best to give and provide further information if needed.
*Please note that Quartet takes a 5% fee on donations to this fund. We use this to cover our core costs, ensuring that we have the resources to process donations, quickly assess grant applications and provide support to local charities and community organisations.
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