Has lockdown made you change the habit of a lifetime?

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Helen Wilde served as Quartet's Chair and is currently a trustee

That’s certainly the case for our former Chair and serving trustee Helen Wilde who shares her views on philanthropy, lockdown life and leaving Bristol. 

“Very strange times we are living in. Selling our house in order to move to Edinburgh to be closer to our children has stalled as has the buying of a house in Edinburgh. So, we are in limbo and that is adding to lockdown concerns.

“I have been spending time catching up with some of the projects that we have supported over the last few years. I have been hugely impressed by how they have all adapted to constraints of lockdown.

“One25 are not able to have drop-in sessions for the women they support but are taking the van out and distributing food and toiletry bags. Case workers are having Zoom sessions with vulnerable women. Flamingo Chicks have put all their sessions online, Room 13 have been sending out Art Packs both to the children who attend Room 13 and other local children. I know they are all eager to get back to close contact!

“Charitable giving is so important now as charities are facing falling incomes, (particularly those that rely on community fundraising) and higher costs. Debra Alcock Tyler from the Directory of Social Change makes the point that it is not the charities that will suffer but the beneficiaries that they serve. We really need to do as much as we can to help these charities survive.

“I also want to take the opportunity to thank everyone at Quartet for the way they have stepped up to the plate to help this happen by making record numbers of grants through the Coronavirus Response Fund and other initiatives.

“My life changed with my breast cancer diagnosis in April 2018. I still had a few years to run as Chair of Quartet, but my illness precipitated the move to Edinburgh. We will, I’m sure get involved in some way in the charitable sector in Edinburgh. We will inevitably lose touch with the projects we have supported in Bristol. To this end we will be asking Quartet to use the income from the Wilde Family Fund to go to core costs, enabling Quartet to be there for Bristol charities in the future.

“Another life changing event brought about by coronavirus lockdown is that after more years than I care to remember, I no longer listen to The Archers! When they went off air, I realised I wasn’t missing them and an everyday story of (English) country folk doesn’t seem appropriate for Scotland!”