A new grant programme from the Quartet Community Foundation which supports local voluntary and community organisations has received an overwhelming number of applications.
Responding to the urgent needs of applicants, the foundation launched the Resilience Programme in April, offering grants of up to £10,000 for organisations across the region.
It provides financial support for local charitable organisations to become more resilient and able to adapt to change as they emerge from the pandemic.
Suzanne Rolt, the new CEO of Quartet Community Foundation, said: “On Friday 19 May we reached the deadline for our Resilience Programme. Our team knew demand would be high but could not have anticipated how high. By 9am that day we’d received over 30 applications, but within a few hours this had doubled to 70.
“We would need £600k to meet all these requests, a figure far in excess of the available funds.
“The organisations applying are seeking funding for a variety of essential services, ranging from helping the homeless and counselling services, to inner-city boxing classes and activities for people with dementia.
“These are vital grants which help to tackle local deprivation, support people in crisis and also target much-needed early intervention and preventative work.
“For many groups, our grants will be a lifeline that enables them to reopen, adapt and recover after lockdown. They have survived the pandemic but are struggling to support core costs.
“They need time and space to plan and consider how best to continue to deliver their services to so many of the communities badly affected by Covid in Bristol, B&NES, North Somerset and South Glos.
“As the local community foundation for the West of England, Quartet directs its support towards the network of charitable organisations who are working day in and day out to improve local lives.
“These grants are often the lifeline that could make all the difference in enabling them to reopen and contribute to the recovery.
“We have difficult decisions to make – some might call them impossible. We will be talking to many of our existing funders to see if they might increase their ongoing support to meet this increased demand.
“We are also keen to speak to any other locally based individuals or businesses who might want to help.”
Since 1st April last year, Quartet Community Foundation has awarded a record £5.1m in grants to 930 local projects.
This figure includes over £2.4m of grants directly supporting organisations who have spearheaded the local Covid response.