Plea to donate to Suffolk Coronavirus Community Fund

ActivLives maintains the People�'s Community Garden and Chantry Walled Garden Picture: ACTIVLIVES

ActivLives maintains the People�'s Community Garden and Chantry Walled Garden Picture: ACTIVLIVES - Credit: Archant

Suffolk charity ActivLives has come up with creative methods to keep in touch with its community during the coronavirus lockdown after receiving a grant of emergency funding.

ActivLives, which usually provides face-to-face support for people of all ages, have been using online services such as Zoom and WhatsApp to maintain contact with those in need after receiving funding from the Suffolk Coronavirus Community Fund.

And bosses have urged the public to dig deep to support the vital work going on in Suffolk communities as the Covid-19 crisis continues.

Julie Stokes, chief executive officer of ActivLives, said: “We had to close nearly all our activities down overnight, in Ipswich, east Suffolk and Sudbury.

“This was very upsetting and emotional for our staff and volunteers, as well as our members, many of them having to self-isolate as they fall in the ‘at risk’ category.

“So we were really grateful to receive funding from the fund to enable us to establish new and exciting initiatives to keep in touch with our members and volunteers, as well as the general public.”

The coronavirus lockdown is biting hard on many charities throughout the county, with donations drying up and multiple key fundraising events cancelled.

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It emerged earlier in May that up to 60% of charities in Suffolk were fearing financial collapse in the next year.

However, schemes such as the Suffolk Coronavirus Community Fund, by Suffolk Community Foundation, have been set up to ensure as many good causes can be supported through the crisis as possible.

ActivLives has been creating WhatsApp support groups, hosting singing sessions on Zoom and launched a befriending and wellbeing phone service to ensure those in need of help and relief can access it.

Funding has also helped maintain the day-to-day running of the People’s Community Garden and Chantry Walled Garden, which are managed by ActivLives volunteers.

Ms Stokes has also appealed for more people to contribute to the Suffolk Coronavirus Community Fund to ensure vital services do not fall victim to the virus.

She added: “The fund is certainly helping the voluntary sector and individuals to support those in need in the community during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“Please donate what you can, it really can make a difference.”

MORE: 60% of charities could collapse in a year without extra funding

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