Barclays extends donations to reach 250 charities across the UK
Through its £100m COVID-19 Community Aid Package, Barclays has extended its 100x100 Programme, bringing the number of UK charities receiving £100,000 donations to 250. These donations are helping local communities to tackle the impacts of the pandemic – including supporting isolated young carers, people living in poverty and those facing homelessness. Hear how five charities will use the donation.
Living through a global pandemic has impacted people in many different ways, and those impacts have not gone away. When the extent of the social and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 first became evident, Barclays established its global £100m COVID-19 Community Aid Package to help those hardest hit by the pandemic. As part of that package, the bank also launched its 100x100 Programme – an initiative to get support right into the heart of local communities across the UK, and reach those most in need.
Through the programme, UK charities were invited to apply for donations of £100,000 to help them deliver meaningful on-the-ground support. “By working with charities who best understand the needs of their communities, we have been able to ensure help is getting into the heart of society during these incredibly challenging times,” explains Deborah Goldfarb, Global Head of Citizenship at Barclays.
Now, as the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt, the programme has been extended, with the latest tranche of funding focused on: physical and mental health issues, financial hardship, support for ethnically diverse communities disproportionately impacted by the crisis, and enhancing digital accessibility.
Nigel Higgins, Barclays’ Group Chairman, says: “The effects of the pandemic are continuing to be felt by many and our decision to extend our 100x100 Programme – allowing Barclays to support 250 UK grassroots charities in their crucial work in our local communities – reflects this.”
Here, we meet five of the charities to benefit from the latest round of the bank’s support.
The effects of the pandemic are continuing to be felt by many and our decision to extend our 100x100 Programme reflects this.
Group Chairman, Barclays
During the pandemic, people living with cancer and their families have needed more support than ever. Some people with cancer are at a higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 – while healthcare services and the availability of therapeutic support have also been impacted. Northern Ireland-based charity, Action Cancer aims to save lives by preventing and detecting cancers early, and by helping people impacted by a cancer diagnosis. Every year, the charity supports 25,000 people across Northern Ireland with screenings, health checks and therapeutic services.
These therapies really help me overcome the struggles of trying to get on with life after a cancer diagnosis.
Supported by Action Cancer
With the £100,000 donation, Action Cancer will be able to provide more than 350 cancer rehabilitation physiotherapy sessions, and over 500 counselling sessions to address the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis, which has been compounded by the loneliness of lockdown. The charity also plans to deliver some 700 complementary therapy sessions, and 300 scar tissue therapies to increase mobility after cancer surgery – and to help people as they start to move out of isolation.
As Olivia, who receives support for spinal cancer, observes: “These therapies really help me overcome the struggles of trying to get on with life after a diagnosis. I have taken away stress and anxiety management techniques which I will continue to use going forward.”
Caring for a loved one is challenging, and can place an especially huge burden on young carers. Caring Together supports more than 17,000 carers and their families, across Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk in England, including teenage carers like Sienna.
“Since being involved with Caring Together, not once have I ever felt alone,” she says. “I have been caring for my mum for many years, and she suffers with epilepsy and mental health. During the first lockdown, we were struggling a lot and I couldn’t go out and buy food. A member from Caring Together helped us get in touch with a local food bank so we had parcels delivered each week.”
Since being involved with Caring Together, not once have I ever felt alone.
Supported by Caring Together
In 2020, a national survey revealed that 70% of unpaid carers were providing more care during the pandemic, while Caring Together’s own research reported that 82% felt lonelier or isolated and 79% weren’t able to take a break from caring.
Caring Together will use the donation to prioritise and support 500 of the most vulnerable and isolated carers across the region by providing access to carer breaks, one-to-one counselling, financial contributions to services or equipment to support physical health, and help to access digital technology. Together, these services will help to reduce feelings of loneliness, and improve carers’ physical and mental health.
Family life isn’t always easy and for many, the pandemic has made things harder. Home-Start HOST offers a lifeline to families in need, with a network of trained volunteers that support families with young children through challenging times, as single mum Agatha explains.
Agatha was on her own when she gave birth prematurely to her daughter, Elizabeth. “I was physically and emotionally exhausted,” she recalls. “To have a Home-Start volunteer offer emotional support – it changed my life. Home-Start was like my second home, and the volunteers like sisters I didn’t have. Now I know there is another family out there who needs them like I did.”
To have a Home-Start volunteer offer emotional support – it changed my life.
Supported by Home-Start HOST
Barclays’ £100,000 donation will help Home-Start to cover the costs of its core family support work across Tameside, Oldham, Stockport and Bolton as these communities continue to deal with the impact of the pandemic. The charity will focus in particular on parents who have had a baby in lockdown, those who might be suffering from poor mental health and families living in poverty.
The donation will also help Home-Start to provide practical and emotional support to around 80 families, helping them to build their support networks in their communities. Children will be offered opportunities to make friends and have new experiences to help with their learning and development.
Supporting young people and women at risk of homelessness is the focus of Llamau’s work. The Wales-based charity provides a range of homelessness prevention and accommodation services, as well as vital ‘move on’ support such as education, training and counselling.
Deanndra explains how Llamau helped her cope after her mum died: “I knew I was going to lose everything and that’s what scared me the most. I was 18 and my mum had pretty much done everything for me. When I eventually got a housing association place, I was so happy. I’m now doing something with my life that would have made my mum proud.”
When I eventually got a housing association place, I was so happy. I’m now doing something with my life that would have made my mum proud.
Supported by Llamau
During COVID-19, Llamau observed stark inequalities around mental health among young people and women: while 90% of those supported by the charity already had a diagnosable mental health condition pre-pandemic, a survey showed that their mental health had worsened by a third (32%) following the first lockdown.
The charity’s response was to set up an in-house counselling service to support young people and women in their time of need, and to help alleviate growing pressures on external mental health resources. Bringing vital support to those who may be struggling, this service will be further sustained and enhanced by the bank’s 100x100 funding.
For Sense Scotland, it’s important that people with disabilities are able to live meaningful and independent lives. The charity supports children and adults with learning or physical disabilities through a range of services, including community living support, short breaks, wellbeing activities and skills training.
“Life under lockdown has been really tough for families, with many at breaking point,” says Angela Bonomy, Executive Director of Sense Scotland. “They had no chance of respite from their caring responsibilities and no opportunity to give their loved ones the comfort of their normal routine, access to the activities they love or even time with friends. All of this has a very real and lasting impact.”
Life under lockdown has been really tough for families, with many at breaking point.
Executive Director, Sense Scotland
Sense Scotland will use its donation to recruit and train two welfare rights officers, one legal adviser and an administrator. The costs of caring for someone with complex disabilities can be high, and having access to legal and welfare experts will ensure that that individuals and families living with disabilities know where to turn when seeking advice and guidance on disability rights, and can benefit from all potential income opportunities.
Barclays’ COVID-19 Community Aid Package
Barclays has established a £100m COVID-19 Community Aid Package to support communities impacted by the social and economic crisis caused by the pandemic. It consists of two components: charitable donations to non-profit partners working in the communities where Barclays operates; and a commitment to match personal colleague donations to their chosen non-profits who are helping COVID-19 relief efforts in their communities.
Find out more about Barclays’ COVID-19 Community Aid Package.