Covid-19: Wiltshire Community Foundation helps 50 local groups

Covid-19: Wiltshire Community Foundation helps 50 local groups

Published by The Spire FM News Team at 1:42pm 21st April 2020. (Updated at 2:14pm 21st April 2020)

4 minute read

The charity's Coronavirus Response Fund has raised £350,000 in just four weeks.

Interim co-chief executive Fiona Oliver said: 

"This is a fantastic total and we are so grateful for the donations. Our grant and finance teams are working flat out to make sure applications are assessed as quickly as possible to make sure the money gets to where it is needed speedily."


Almost £200,000 worth of grants have been made to groups tackling hunger, poverty, isolation, mental health issues and home education.

Among the recipients is Wessex Community Action in Salisbury, which has been given £7,940.

The money has gone towards its Salisbury Compassionate Community Scheme which is being run in partnership with Salisbury City Council to set up an army of volunteers to do shopping and collect prescriptions for elderly and vulnerable people who are isolating.

The grant is funding staff, volunteer and IT costs for the network that was developed in just a few weeks to cope with the demand.

CEO Amber Skyring says she's "really grateful" for the grant 

More than 130 people have signed up to volunteer their time to help more than 150 people in Salisbury. 

"We have had an amazing response from people of all walks of life and all ages. We have had people in their 70s coming forward,"

"We have set up a shopping card system with the council so all our volunteers can access that if they need to and then we can invoice residents afterwards."

Wessex Community Action
Wessex Community Action are helping elderly people

Mrs Skyring said the group has focused on ensuring volunteers build up a rapport with the people they are assigned to. 

"We are allocating one volunteer for four residents so that they build up a relationship and they develop a sense of taking care of those particular residents. That volunteer also becomes their go-to person." 

Carer Support Wiltshire has been given £8,500 to set up a telephone support network for carers who have been left isolated by the pandemic. The group has 11,000 registered carers across the county and a team of up to 50 volunteers will prioritise older members who don't have email.

Community fundraising officer Rachel Demery said: 

"Our face-to-face support services, mainly carer cafes, support groups and creative carer groups, have been postponed due to social-distancing restrictions, which means that nearly 500 carers in Wiltshire are going without interaction with their key support network at a time when they need it more than ever."

"Carers over 70 are most likely to self-isolate for an extended period, are less likely to have access to technology, and can lack IT skills, which makes it difficult for them to keep in touch with friends and family. They are at high risk of loneliness, depression and ill mental health."

Elderly person on a phone
The coronavirus pandemic has left many elderly people feeling alone.


The post of money that the grants are coming from has come from  individual donors, trusts, companies and money from the National Emergencies Trust's Coronavirus Appeal.

Fiona Oliver from the charity says donations are still needed.

"We are so grateful for all the money that has so generously been given but as the lockdown goes into a fifth week, voluntary groups are feeling the effects more than ever and we know that need for help is going to keep growing."

To find out more applying for a grant or to donate to the fund, go to

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