Young Barnet Foundation
Young Barnet Foundation is a membership organisation for hundreds of locally based children and young people’s charities/community groups delivering to our young people across LB of Barnet. They invest in, connect and grow our members in a variety of ways to enhance opportunities, activities and services for the 99,000 young people across Barnet. They are here to compliment the other infrastructure support across the borough and work closely under a ‘Barnet Together’ collaboration with Inclusion Barnet and Volunteering Barnet to pool expertise and resources to support members who serve their communities.
Coronavirus saw great work across the borough by many community groups as they set out to support and feed our most vulnerable during the crisis. Young Barnet Foundation as Barnet Together have and will continue to work to help coordinate and support these groups over the coming months.
Their two key funders are part of London Funders network and we welcomed the swift confirmation that funders would be supportive and flexible with their funding, for this we are extremely thankful. Short term funding is secured to support the work we do, but the longer-term future looks more insecure, we have had to curtail fundraising events and there is uncertainty about future funding availability. We already see members, many of which, like ourselves are very small, start to struggle. The services to support and scaffold their membership will be needed now more than ever as organisations see an increase in demand for their services whilst finding funding even harder to come by. YBF do also see this as an opportunity to explore different ways of working, how technology can best be used both in delivery and back office, for organisations to help make tight finances go further as working practices are forced to be adapted.
The small community based charities are deep routed and highly knowledgeable in our communities, many having built up trusted relationships over many years and will need to offer support as the full effect of the COVID-19 shut down on the economy, physical and mental health are clearer. YBF are calling on everyone at this time to be a generous leader. Supporting charities doesn’t always have to always be financial donations. Individuals and businesses can offer time, expertise and space to your locally based charities. They are #NeverMoreNeeded.
DISH was formed in 1991 as a charity offering information, advice and support to people with disabilities. The momentum behind forming DISH and working with other small charities in the area was to ensure the disability community weren’t left behind and that they could live their lives with dignity, choice and independence. Within the last few years and especially since the welfare reforms, the demand for their services has grown exponentially. They also support older members of their community with attendance Allowance applications. It is a small team who all have lived experience of disability either as a parent, young carer and carer.
The last few months has been a period of uncertainty. This has meant a complete full stop on any fundraising events they had planned, but also no more income via Trusts and Foundations which had raised some significant amounts early on in the year. It was understandable that this would happen. DISH had projected a return on fundraising and foundations alone to be in excess of £15,000 -£20,000. It meant huge pressure in trying to obtain emergency funding via various outlets and ensuring they could keep offering our services whilst planning for our post COVID-19 future. They furloughed an office member of staff and the other 3 caseworkers on a rotational basis so we could keep offering the service, this relieved some pressure on the salary bill, but as they don’t pay very much, it didn’t make a huge dent. Fortunately, they have come through it and are grateful to all the support they received both locally and nationally ( thanks SCC ) I have developed new financial processes and also worked on a new risk management strategy so we can ensure our sustainability. There is now a discussion as to whether they go completely home based and reduce costs centrally – office, copier, phones etc which would pay supplement their income.
They have always been needed, but we know we will have to increase capacity to meet the demand. They are #NeverMoreNeeded.
York Road Project
York Road Project are a homelessness charity based in Woking, Surrey. Their ultimate aim is to support anyone experiencing homelessness into permanent accommodation. They recognise that not everyone is ready to live independently and support them with any difficulties creating barriers to accessing stable accommodation.
York Road were able to respond very quickly to the lockdown. A taskforce was put together and meetings moved very quickly. The team were able to manage their clients panic and worry and worked with Woking Borough Council to be able to provide quick and safe accommodation. They utilised their relationships with local governments and councils to be able to get communications out to the public to help with food donations. The team were able to think outside the box. Within a large hall, were set up to provide ‘pods’ for their clients. They could provide power and the necessary commodities each person required.
YRP have been doing okay financially, purely because of the funders and being able to galvanise the public support. However, the normal funds that are so needed for winter may not be available this year and they need to make sure they are not jumping on the money. They have seen a fantastic community spirit but they cannot relying on this lasting forever. Their work is vital and they are #NeverMoreNeeded.