General fundraising has been hit very hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Up and down the country, thousands of fundraising events have been cancelled and many charities, particularly smaller ones, are struggling to maintain services because of this huge reduction in income.
Here at the Matt Kendall Foundation we have been forced to cancel our annual fundraiser ‘The Summer Shakedown’, which was scheduled for June 20 2020. It is our biggest fundraiser of the year and it brings together our loved ones and supporters to remember Matt, and to continue his incredible work.
Our trustees have stepped up and taken the bold step to launch a Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund to be able to respond to the needs of young Birmingham residents who are affected by the corona virus, getting them the financial support they urgently need.
Through our network of frontline, youth-facing partner organisations, we’ve been able to identify young people with limited support structures and who are already in precarious life and work situation, made more challenging through this ongoing crisis.
In the past month, The Matt Kendall Foundation has been able to allocate over £5,000 worth of grants to young people in Birmingham. The grants have been allocated within days of receiving the requests to support young people’s living costs and for items such as food, rent and heating. We have been able to bridge the gap until benefits, wages or other support kick in.
This fast, flexible approach has meant that the charity can respond quickly, offering a life-line to young people with no-where left to turn.
The Matt Kendall Foundation has demonstrated its commitment to support young people with the most need across the city and its fleet-footed approach has been recognised by Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Children’s Partnership.
Our foundation is one of a number of delivery partners that has been assigned to deliver their ‘Resilience Funding: CV-19, an Emergency Response Fund valued at £1.07m. The purpose of the Emergency Response Fund is to support a growing number of families and young people experiencing extreme hardship due to the pandemic.
As a charity we are extremely proud to accept this challenge and we will work hard to ensure the initial £10,000 allocation reaches as many young people in need as possible.
The key focus is to support our target demographic of 18-25 year olds in crisis quickly and effectively. We will use existing processes and systems to process applications quickly and effectively, aiming to turn applications around in less than 5 days (faster where possible).
We are accepting grant applications up to £150 from young people who have an immediate urgent financial need as a result of the corona virus.
Were Matt still alive, we know he would have been active in mobilising his friends, partners and associates to help those most in need and we feel proud to carry out this work in his name and honour.
For supporters wanting to contribute to this work, we have launched a JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/covidcrisisfund