Big changes start locally

Virgin Money Foundation Awards More Than £285,000 to North East Groups Impacted By Covid-19 Pandemic

Julian Prior Action Foundation


  • More than £285,000 awarded through the Virgin Money Foundation Community Resilience Fund to enable organisations to support their local community
  • Grants will support 23 North East organisations with vital funds in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic

Virgin Money Foundation has named the first wave of community and voluntary sector groups to benefit from its newly launched Community Resilience Fund.

The 23 North East organisations are among the first voluntary and community sector groups to benefit from the Virgin Money Foundation Community Resilience Fund which was announced last month. The grassroots groups will each receive grants of up to £20,000 as part of the new fund, a key part of a special £850,000 package of Virgin Money Foundation support for North East communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Community Resilience Fund – which makes up £500,000 of the total support package - was set up to assist organisations already funded by the Foundation. It will help replace lost income or help meet the cost of innovating in response to the pandemic. For many groups, demand on services has increased as organisations step up to support the most vulnerable members of the community, at the same time as protecting their colleagues and their families.

The Cornforth Partnership’s CEO Tony Cutmore said:

“We are delighted to receive support from the Virgin Money Foundation to help us continue to offer much needed support to families, older people and victims of domestic abuse, during this period of uncertainty. The support will enable us to reach out to the most vulnerable members of our community during this period and ensure they get the right support to be able to stay well and safe by offering telephone support, advice and guidance as well care packages.”

Julian Prior, Founder and CEO of Action Foundation said:

"Covid-19 has had a major impact on our clients and our ability to be able to support them. We have redesigned a number of our services to provide proactive support from emergency responses like food parcels and phone credit, to remote welfare and befriending support calls and texts to over a thousand people.

“The grant from Virgin Money Foundation has enabled us to keep our staff in post to provide this emergency support and plug a gap in lost income from fundraising events that have been cancelled. Thanks to the Foundation’s generosity we have been able to continue to support our clients through this difficult and dangerous pandemic.”

Michelle O’Rourke, CEO of My Sisters Place, said:

"We are delighted to have been awarded a grant from the Community Resilience Fund, the lockdown measures for prevention of COVID-19 disproportionately affect women and children for whom home is not always the safest place.

"The introduction of lockdown measures has meant that charities such as My Sisters Place have had to adapt to meet the need and grants such as this have enabled us to continue to deliver our services and be there for women. Never has it been more vital to secure the work of the voluntary sector and we are grateful to Virgin Money Foundation for recognising this need."

Nancy Doyle-Hall, Executive Director of the Virgin Money Foundation said:

"These first grants will help equip and enable local charities from Berwick through to Redcar play a full and vital role during the pandemic.

"The groups receiving grants offer vital support to their local communities and are working tirelessly on the frontline to help people whose lives have been severely impacted by the pandemic. Charities are facing challenging reductions to their income and we want them not just to survive these economic challenges but be able to provide vital support to their community for the long term."

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Organisations receiving a Community Resilience Fund award

Latest awards

700 Club - Darlington - £10,000

A Way Out - Stockton - £6,000

Action Foundation - Newcastle - £9,750

Auckland Youth and Community Centre - Bishop Auckland - £10,000

Berwick Youth Project - Northumberland - £9,504

Coatham House - Durham - £20,000

Community Campus 87 Ltd - Teesside - £10,000

Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project - Northumberland - £1,200

Edberts House - Gateshead - £10,000

Family Gateway - North Tyneside - £20,000

Handcrafted Projects - Durham - £20,000

Jack Drum Arts - Durham - £10,000

Moving on Durham - Durham - £20,000

My Sisters Place - Teesside - £20,000

Newcastle YMCA - Newcastle - £20,000

North Tyneside YMCA - North Tyneside - £10,000

North Ormesby Neighbourhood Development Trust - Teesside - £10,000

Pennywell Youth Project - Sunderland - £10,000

South Tyneside Churches KEY Project - South Tyneside - £10,000

Tees Music Alliance - Teesside - £20,000

The Cornforth Partnership - Durham - £9,770

Wearside YMCA - Sunderland - £8,436

West End Women and Girls - Newcastle - £10,000

Note that Virgin Money Foundation has also donated £20,000 to the Charles Burrell Centre in Norfolk and The Feed CIC in Norwich.

About Virgin Money Foundation

The Virgin Money Foundation launched in August 2015 as an independent charitable foundation focused initially on community projects in the North-East of England and growing to operate nationally over time. It promotes the sustainable regeneration of communities that have experienced social and economic decline. Since launch it has awarded over £9million in grants to community organisations across the UK.

Virgin Money Foundation seeks to work jointly with other funders, making additional funds available for great local projects. They have developed a partnership with Clay Hill Charitable Trust to extend the funding available in the North East of England.

The Virgin Money Foundation. Charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales Company No. 9457101. Charity No. 1161290. Registered Office: Jubilee House, Gosforth, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom, NE3 4PL.

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