A crowdfunding appeal set up to ensure food and other essential supplies reach those most in need during the coronavirus pandemic has passed its target after topping more than £80,000.
As part of the #StHelensTogether campaign – St Helens Council and Torus Foundation, the charitable arm of the council’s social housing partner, Torus – launched a match-funding appeal last month (April), both pledging £25,000 towards the cause which residents, businesses and organisations were asked to match.
After receiving the backing of a number of local stars and influential figures from the borough, including actor Michael Parr; St Helens R.L.F.C. chairman Eamonn McManus and award-winning writer, Frank Cottrell Boyce, the Spacehive appeal has now reached more than £85,000.
The money will go to the St Helens community hub which is providing food to vulnerable residents during the current pandemic as a key part of the St Helens Together community response. The hub continues to provide emergency food parcels for vulnerable residents who can’t leave their home to shop, or sadly cannot afford to buy food due to the current crisis.
Thanking the public, businesses, schools and organisations for their generous contributions, St Helens Council Leader David Baines said:
“The generosity of the people of our borough, particularly during troubled times, never fails to amaze me – so on behalf of St Helens Council, I’d like to say a massive heartfelt thank you to each and every individual, school, business and organisation that has helped us achieve our goal – including Torus Foundation who helped us to get the crowdfunding appeal off the ground.
“Every last pound secured as a result of this appeal will make a huge difference and will be put to good use to ensure essential food and supplies are topped up at our community hub, and that the council and its amazing partners can continue our community response.
“We will get through this situation with kindness and compassion for each other. We will get through this together.”
Torus Foundation Managing Director, Kate Shone, added: “This is a tremendous achievement by all involved. At Torus Foundation, we’re honoured to have been involved from the start, working as a lead partner to raise much-needed funds and support those most in need at this time of crisis.
“Our vision ‘for stronger communities’ is at its most powerful when we work as one to tackle big issues. Even though many people and local businesses are facing their own challenges, we’ve pulled together to help people across St Helens. We couldn’t be more proud.”
Sally Yeoman, Chief Executive of Halton & St Helens Voluntary Community Action, said: “It’s amazing what local people and organisations working together can achieve. Even when things are difficult local people have donated to make sure we get food and supplies to those most in need in the borough.”
On average, #StHelensTogether receives 2,400 enquiries a week by phone and emails from residents seeking support – with more than 900 food parcels distributed from the community hub to date.
If you or someone you know would benefit from some help – whether it’s getting food and supplies, walking the dog – or just someone to talk to – contact the #StHelensTogether helpline which is open seven days between 8:00am-10:00pm by calling 01744 676767- or email firstname.lastname@example.org