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Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund raises target to £1million to support vital work

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Michael O’Toole, CEO Cambridgeshire Community Foundation which is managing the Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund. Picture: Keith Heppell
Michael O’Toole, CEO Cambridgeshire Community Foundation which is managing the Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund. Picture: Keith Heppell

The generosity of the public, business and organisations has helped the Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund reach its £300,000 target within weeks – and prompted a drive to raise donations to £1million.

Launched on March 19 and run by the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, the fund is providing a co-ordinated way to support people affected by the virus. The Cambridge Independent is a media partner for the fund.

Donations from Microsoft; The Northwick Trust, which has contributed £20,000; Cambridge City Council, which also pledged £20,000, and an anonymous donation of £5,000 were among more than 330 donations that have helped it exceed £337,000.

The money is aimed to provide emergency funding for organisations helping to deal with issues related to Covid-19, helping older people, the vulnerable and children in particular.

The anonymous donation was accompanied on the Just Giving page which read: “Thanks to the frontline workers at the NHS and others who provide support for our infrastructure, food, medicines, and transport. And thanks to the organisations who are supporting our community.”

Cllr Anna Smith, executive councillor for communities, said “So many people are going to be facing additional hardship right now. People who were already struggling have been finding things much harder, and many people are finding themselves in difficulty for the first time.

“The city council has an anti-poverty emergency fund which is designed to meet needs we couldn't have predicted at the start of the year. It makes complete sense for this year's fund to be donated to this CCF fund, so that we can all work together to help our community.

“This is just one of the many ways that the city council is working hard to help support our residents at this time.

“I encourage all institutions and individuals who are able, to consider donating to this excellent cause.

“The whole city is grateful for all the work that charities and voluntary groups are doing to help at this time. It’s been particularly amazing to see how quickly mutual aid groups have been formed to help address the crisis.

“I hope that many of the groups who are working so hard to support our residents will bid for funds to help their vital work.”

Michael O’Toole, chief executive of the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, said: “The Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund appeal received a huge boost thanks to an incredible donation from Microsoft.

“Together with donations from other Cambridgeshire businesses, the county council, Cambridge City Council, the National Emergencies Trust, generous personal donors and our public appeal this means we will continue to provide grants to support frontline services helping thousands of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Among the beneficiaries from the first round of grants were Magpas Air Ambulance, Families First Peterborough CIC, Power2Inspire and Huntingdon Town Council.

To make a donation, visit justgiving.com/campaign/Coronaviruscommunityfund.

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