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Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has welcomed £162,000 in emergency grants from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) to support Island charities in their response to the COVID-19 crisis.

An estimated 10,000 Islanders have benefited from the funding which has been awarded to 27 Island charities and voluntary organisations.

Grant awards have been used in many different ways by local charities, from helping to provide vulnerable residents with hot meals, to giving families access to specialist sensory equipment to support children and young people with additional needs during lockdown.

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The grants have been made possible thanks to donations made to HIWCF from local families and businesses, as well as coronavirus funding from the National Emergencies Trust (NET), the NHS Covid-19 Fund and the Isle of Wight Community Funds.

Bob Seely MP has said:

“Our brilliant charities are already playing a crucial role in our national effort to fight coronavirus – backed up by an army of volunteers to support those who are most in need. This will benefit tens of thousands of charities, ensuring they can meet increased demand as a result of the virus as well as continuing their day to day activities supporting those in need.”

Age UK Isle of Wight, which benefited from one such grant, were able to use the funding to provide a lifeline to those who were most vulnerable, lonely and isolated, providing shopping and medication deliveries, wellbeing checks and weekly telephone befriending calls.

Elisha Leachman, Fundraising Manager for Age UK Isle of Wight said:

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“At the start of the pandemic, HIWCF’s support enabled us to quickly coordinate an emergency response team to recruit and coordinate vital help to older Island residents, enabling them to stay safe and shielding at home.”

Grant Cornwell MBE, Chief Executive of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation, said:

“Island charities have stepped up to meet the emerging needs of this crisis, and have found new and resourceful ways to meet their objectives. At the same time, their income is so severely affected that for many their very existence remains in doubt, so we would urge people to continue to dig deep and contribute to the vital work they are doing across the Island community.”

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