Charities were invited to apply for one of 100 donations of £100,000, and Barclays were inundated by hundreds of applications from charities across the UK who are struggling to deliver on-the-ground support to vulnerable communities impacted by the crisis.
Barclays launched their 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme to support COVID-19 relief work in local communities. The programme, which forms part of their wider COVID-19 Community Aid Package, focuses on supporting UK charity partners who are meeting the immediate needs of people in their communities.
Young Gloucestershire supports 11-25 year-olds facing complex challenges in their lives and provides these disadvantaged young people with skills, training and opportunities to help them find employment or to return to education. The pandemic has already seen youth employment levels in the County rise significantly and young people’s mental-health deteriorating.
YG responded swiftly to the pandemic switching their support for young people to telephone, online and zoom. YG immediately switched youth workers from schools and education work to on the ground support of young people in the community. YG reopened immediately on the easing of lockdown and saw an immediate increase in young people approaching them after either losing work, struggling with their mental health, unsure of what their next steps should be or trying to manage financial risk. Higher levels of mental-health challenges will mean considerably more crisis-based work for the charity in the coming months and years.
Tracy Clark, CEO of Young Gloucestershire, said: “The CV19 crisis has meant that YG has been challenged daily to think outside of the box and identify new ways of working to meet the increased needs of young people in our County. We have had to develop new services overnight and now that lockdown has eased a little, we’ve had to then adapt crisis services into long term services. With young people already disproportionally affected by unemployment because of CV19, it does not feel like there is going to be any let up anytime soon and this vital donation from Barclays will mean that YG can provide services that help young people from across Gloucestershire to cope and manage their ongoing crises and to start to mend and recover.”
Nigel Higgins, Barclays Chairman, said: “COVID-19 has created an unprecedented social and economic impact in the UK, with many experiencing greater hardship due to the crisis. Incredible charities, such as Young Gloucestershire have been playing a vital role in the UK’s response to the pandemic, ensuring urgent help reaches those most in need of support. As a bank we have been doing all we can for our customers, clients and colleagues, and we hope that by partnering with Young Gloucestershire and many other charities across the UK, collectively we can ensure that as many people as possible in the communities in which we live and work are supported through this crisis.”
MP for Cheltenham, Alex Chalk, added: “Young Gloucestershire do important work to support my constituents in Cheltenham. I welcome this funding which will make a big difference to young people locally at a very difficult time.”