Derwent Living has donated £6,000 to three local charities to support their work with communities during the coronavirus lockdown. The funding has been secured from Places for People social impact charity Places Foundation, which provides financial support to initiatives which improve the quality of life for people and communities.

The Hope Centre, Derby Woman’s Centre and Derby City Mission have each received £2000 to help them continue providing services during the COVID-19 disruption.

Gemma Trowbridge, head of housing at Derwent Living, said: “These charities provide a vital service to local people at vulnerable times in their lives. Working with Places Foundation we wanted to help them continue to provide that support in the community, especially during this current crisis.”

Based in Leopold Street, Derby Woman's Centre provides mental health support to women across Derbyshire who have experienced domestic abuse and provide targeted help and signposting for people in high risk groups.

The Hope Centre, on Curzon Street in Derby, supports people living in poverty by providing food and essential household goods. Staff at the centre also provide help to vulnerable people of all ages with support and signposting services.

Derby City Mission began as a debt advice service in 1989 and now provides a foodbank and homeless night shelter as well as a street pastor programme.

Speaking on behalf of The Hope Centre, Denise Hawley, community worker said: “We have purchased bags for our food parcels but have also decided it would be good to give out fresh fruit and veg, eggs and bread.

“We are only able to give these extras out with the kind donation Derwent Living has given us and everyone who gets these fresh items are so pleased. It really helps,” she added.

Providing vital funds

Nationally, many charities are worried they will have a shortfall in their finances this year as major fundraising events like marathons have had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many charities and community outreach groups will be badly affected while they’re unable raise funds in traditional ways” Jamie Dickinson, Group head of social value at Places Foundation said. “Providing financial support to plug some of those gaps is hugely important and means some of the most vulnerable people can still get the help they need.”

Service Development Manager at Derby Women’s Centre Norean Yasin said, “the funds allowed a live website chat service to be set up” and would offer vital help to “those in need”.

“Without this support we would be struggling to check on those suffering from domestic violence, isolation and mental health issues.”