The Argus has stepped in to restart a crucial crisis fund that gave £2.7 million in grants to local charities, working on the Covid-19 frontline, supporting vulnerable people in 2020. The Sussex Crisis Fund was launched in March last year and The Argus, along with American Express, got the fund off to a flying start with a large initial donation.
Now, Sussex Community Foundation is relaunching the Sussex Crisis Fund (support and recovery phase) with a generous £10,000 donation from the Argus Appeal which the charity hopes will encourage others to give.
Kevin Richmond, CEO at Sussex Community Foundation said: “We are so thrilled that the Argus has stepped up to help once again. This third lockdown is now beginning to ease and we are all delighted to see some light at the end of the tunnel. However, for many people, the fallout from this pandemic is hitting harder than ever and there is much more work for our amazing local charities to do to support those people.”
‘New to poverty’
Local advice agencies are describing a new cohort of people through their doors – those who are ‘new to poverty’. They have used up their savings and credit limits have been reached. Many are reaching a tipping point with their finances and are forced to seek help, having never needed to before, with some using foodbanks for the first time.
Many people have seen job losses and reduced employment opportunities. This is especially true for young people and older workers.
Many people have experienced mental health challenges, and women’s refuges are in high demand – with situations of domestic abuse exacerbated by three lockdowns.
“Sussex charities continue to face immense pressure in 2021, with some even facing closure,” says Mr Richmond.
“The vital services they deliver to local people are being stretched almost to breaking point, which is why we are re-launching the Sussex Crisis Fund – with what we are calling the Support and Recovery phase and, once again, we are asking for your help.”
You can watch a short film here to explain some of the challenges being faced and why the fund has been relaunched.
The relaunched Fund will make grants across the four main areas:
- Mental health support
- Advice and support services
- Costs associated with providing food and other vital support
- Digital inclusion
“We want to thank all our supporters who so generously donated last year- please do consider giving again, to make sure that our vital local charities can continue to help those who need it the most.”
You can donate at Sussex Community Foundation’s Totalgiving page.