Supporting local charities and community causes

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Over £200,000 donated by Shanly Foundation to support local Covid-19 relief efforts

Shanly Foundation, the charitable arm of the Shanly Group, has donated £183,280 to 114 different projects in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and beyond, to aid in efforts against Covid-19. A further £20,000 will be donated to worthy causes in the coming weeks.

Shanly Foundation set aside £150,000 to aid local charities at the start of the pandemic, donating £25,000 to Meals in Marlow, a project founded by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge, which provided hot meals to hospital workers and those in need around the Berkshire town.

More than 220 applications for funding were received, with the additional money meaning a range of projects had access to much-needed support in this critical period. Shanly Foundation’s pot has helped to fund projects including mental health support, helplines to combat loneliness, food parcels and pharmacy deliveries for those shielding, support for key workers, and technology giving online support and counselling to vulnerable people, school children and those in need of care.

A recipient of £2,500 from Shanly Foundation, The Ark Trust funds community relief efforts in Bracknell. The charity works with people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health to provide support and care for them and their families. The outbreak of coronavirus and social distancing measures meant a switch to an online support network, offering chat groups, classes and a closed Facebook group to ensure everyone still has access to the care they need.

In addition to this virtual network, The Ark Trust also became the local council’s primary framework for providing care in the community. Through the health and social care services hub, the team is responsible for co-ordinating the volunteer network, signposting to the correct support service and identifying where those in need live so they can match with volunteers nearby.

Andrea McCombie, chief executive of The Ark Trust, said: “While our core work focuses on providing support for those with learning disabilities and mental health issues, we’ve also been working closely with the local council to manage an army of over 1,400 volunteers to identify those who need help and provide the best support for them. This includes those with disabilities and ill health not considered ‘clinically’ in need of sheltering, who may have slipped through the cracks of official government support.

“The donation from Shanly Foundation has helped us fund this new way of working and provide far more than we’d have thought possible before. We are extremely grateful for their support.”

Tamra Booth, Trustee at Shanly Foundation, comments: “Originally assigning £150,000 to the fundraising pot, we were overwhelmed with the response we received. There were so many deserving causes that we made the decision to increase the amount and help more local people get the support they need during this critical period. It’s been wonderful being able to facilitate this and to see the community step up and help each other.”