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Children at Book Club in Redcar 2

PWCF COVID-19 Recovery Fund for vital community projects

In response to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF) has made available £150,000 to more than 30 non-profit organizations supporting some of the most deprived communities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

PWCF’s COVID-19 Recovery Fund is enabling the organizations to deliver much needed health & wellbeing, social inclusion, education and environmental projects, and lessen the impact of the pandemic on children and young people, as well as the elderly and wider community.

The Women & Families Resource Centre (WFRC), a charity that aims to transform the lives of some of the most disadvantaged and socially excluded women and children of Wolverhampton’s deprived communities, has been awarded PWCF COVID-19 Recovery Fund towards Club Arise to Shine (A2S) - a programme of activities for isolated, disadvantaged and hard to reach children and young people.

Karyne Tazi said “We are immensely grateful for the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund’s financial support during these unprecedented times.  A rising issue and call for concern during this pandemic has been the damaging effects that the pandemic is having on young people’s mental wellbeing and we are doing all we can to support them during this period.  Our young people need us now more than ever. Club A2S plays a huge part in engaging, combatting social isolation and building emotional resilience for vulnerable and disadvantaged children & young people in Wolverhampton. Our virtual youth club gets them together in a safe space and offers positive life experiences that buffer the current issues they are facing as a result of the lock down restrictions.  This valuable grant will ensure that we are better able to support some of the most vulnerable children & young people in our community. Thank you so much PWCF for making this work possible.”

Women and children at Wolverhampton Resource center

Another beneficiary of PWCF’s COVID-19 Recovery Fund is Erskine Hospital, Scotland’s leading charity for Veterans, providing expert care and support to over 1,000 Veterans every year. Erskine has supported the elderly since 1916.

“Erskine is delighted to be receiving a grant from The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund. This generous donation will fund PPE and hygiene materials for The Erskine Home, Bishopton. Our Home’s incredible staff continue to offer sector-leading care for 180 elderly Veterans and spouses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through extensive use of PPE and strict infection control procedures, we are proud to provide a wide range of enhanced care services and our Veterans can safely enjoy visits from their loved ones during this difficult period. Erskine would simply not be in a position to offer this level of care to Scotland’s Veterans without generous supporters like The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund. We are hugely grateful to the Trustees and this grant will make a significant positive difference to our residents’ lives.” said Gareth Tonner.

Footprints in the Community has also benefited from PWCF’s COVID-19 Recovery Fund. The charity runs variety of services including a book club, under one umbrella to help address isolation and poverty in and around Redcar and to provide a network of support to local people and organizations. In 2013 Footprints established the very first foodbank in Redcar, and now runs a network of foodbanks across the local authority area. Other projects include Lunchbox (to tackle holiday hunger for children), Men's Shed (to tackle loneliness and mens mental health), Next Step shop (for affordable access to food), and a Community Café.

The grant from PWCF COVID-19 Recovery Fund will be used to support the Book Club and to help inspire a love of reading among the children of Redcar and Cleveland and improve literacy rates and, thereby, life-chances. Established for Christmas 2020, the project distributed 1923 new books to 641 children which included every child in care, every child working with the council ‘crisis’ team (those who are homeless or in temporary accommodation), children participating in the Footprints family projects (foodbanks and holiday-hunger clubs) and vulnerable pupils identified by 8 local schools.

As COVID-19 lockdown restrictions allow in the coming months, the project aims to further support families in developing their children’s reading by distribute books and literacy materials, establishing a mobile children's library and providing group story-telling and access to mutual learning support. The Book Club project seeks to help close the education and literacy gap.

Anna Turley, The Book Club Founder and Project Manager said, "We are absolutely delighted to have received this funding from the Prince of Wales' COVID Recovery Fund. This has been such a tough time for children trying to keep up with their studies and having to cope with being stuck indoors. A good book can allow a child's imagination to soar and can be a real companion in tough times. As we start to rebuild after COVID we want more children in Redcar and Cleveland to access good books to support their literacy and help give them the best start in life. Thanks to this support from the Prince of Wales, we can reach so many children now".

Children reading