The programme, which has now come to an end, was created shortly after the Covid-19 outbreak to help communities build resilience, tackle new challenges and create brighter futures post lockdown. The programme was shaped through initial research
which helped the Trust identify three core areas of funding including; issues of isolation and loneliness, improving mental health, and building digital resilience.
The response to the programme has been inspiring, with a record numbers of applications from organisations stepping up to support communities through the toughest of times. The final grants have now been awarded, with the last wave of funding supporting 207 projects with grants totalling £1.3 million – bringing the grand total to in excess of £5 million!
Here are some fantastic projects to wrap-up this impactful programme:
Spa 61, Portsmouth
As a result of the pandemic, access to support and care for many vulnerable women has been severely impacted. Harbour Church’s Spa 61 project aims to restore hope and dignity to women who have been trapped in abusive situations throughout the pandemic, by reaching out with online courses, pastoral care and regular communication. A Benefact Trust Hope Beyond grant of £6,650 will help Harbour Church to purchase streaming equipment, signposting materials and employ a member of staff to run the digital support.
Citizen Church, Cardiff
There are 80,000 students in Cardiff Universities, many of whom have been suffering as a result of the pandemic, with 66% of students saying their mental health has been affected by coronavirus. With support from £7,500 Hope Beyond funding from Benefact Trust, Citizen Church will expand its recruitment, training and support services at its church coffee van, to become a hub for students and the wider community to reconnect and help each other heal.
YMCA DownsLink Group
A Hope Beyond grant of £7,500 is helping YMCA Downslink to recruit a chaplain to support vulnerable young people in Guildford – including those who are homeless, students and unaccompanied asylum seekers – who have been experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation exacerbated by COVID-19. The chaplain will provide a listening ear, practical and spiritual support to YMCA residents - numbers of which have increased by 61% since the beginning of the pandemic.
St Mary’s Parish, Holy Island, Northumberland
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the remote Holy Island on the Northumberland coast to consider new ways to bring the community together and ensure its sustainability for years to come. A Benefact Trust Hope Beyond grant of £11,800 is helping St Mary’s Parish to purchase live-streaming equipment to reach out to the community, as well as funding volunteer training so that they can learn and share the unique spiritual heritage of the island and encourage visitors as restrictions ease.