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The Aberdeen COVID-19 Emergency Appeal set up by the Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust has made a significant contribution to enable local charities help thousands of people experiencing genuine hardship due to the pandemic, an impact report has revealed today [Monday 14 December 2020].

In March 2020, Aberdeen along with the rest of the world, faced the unprecedented situation of a global pandemic. With the impact of coronavirus being felt across the city, the Aberdeen COVID-19 Emergency Appeal was set up by the Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust in partnership with The Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen and Aberdeen City Council and supported by Hampton Agency.

Since its launch on 01 May 2020 the emergency appeal has raised just over £300,000 with donations from members of the public, business people and donations of £100,000 from the Seven Incorporated Trades Widows’ Charity and £100,000 from Aberdeen City Council via the Common Good Fund.

The report carried out by Aberdeen City Council on behalf of the Trust highlights the positive impact of the Emergency Appeal. These include:

·        60grants to 42 local registered charities;

·        19,405people supported including 3,789 families, and 7,786 children and young people;

·        251volunteers contributed 22,264 volunteer hours;

·        29,649food parcels, 7,950 meals, 15,250 fruit packs worth £106,286 delivered directly to people in need;

·        £24,742of supermarket vouchers provided;

·        £2,595fuel top ups;

·        £24,297toiletries, clothing and self-care;

·        £16,551mobile devices, phones and data to enable people to stay in touch;

·        £68,210for 941 emergency grants were issued.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Barney Crockett said: “Thanks to the generosity of individuals and businesses we have been able to give much needed financial support to local charities helping local people in desperate need due to theCovid-19 pandemic.  

“I’m a proud Aberdonian and the way everyone in the city has pulled together to help others has been inspirational.  We own a huge debt of gratitude to all those who donated to the appeal and to the dedicated staff and volunteers at all our local charities.  

“It’s the season of giving and while theCovid-19 Appeal Fund is not currently open for applications I hope that you will consider making a donation to one of the many wonderful charities we have here in Aberdeen.”  

Mervyn Donald, Deacon Convenor, The Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen said: “We would like to thank everyone involved who have helped both ourselves and Aberdeen City Council in raising these funds for Aberdeen residents in need, during COVID-19. As a local historical organisation, it is at the heart of whatwe do, to support the community in Aberdeen.

“The charities included have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and should be very proud of themselves as to what they have achieved.”

Liz Bowie, CEO, AFC Community Trust said: “The support we received from the Lord Provost Hardship Fund was crucial in allowing us to respond to the community’s needs quickly. Without this support we would never have reached over 12,000+ people with 2,500food parcels.”

Mark Lovie, Project Coordinator, Fersands & Fountain Community Project said: “Thank you to the Lord Provost Charitable Trust. Their grant made a big difference at a difficult time. They helped us give grocery vouchers to over 100 families who were really struggling. It offered direct support to the families when they were in need and also showed that people were thinking of them.

“In the summer weeks the fund paid for picnics in the park to around 60 children and families playing at the Ferrier Crescent Park. This activity again showed families thatthere were people willing to help and brought some joy at a time when everything seemed gloomy. All of which was done while spreading a message of Covid safety.”

Allison Barr, Chief Executive, Team Jak said: “Team Jak are hugely grateful for the support provided by the Lord provost fund which allowed us to provide good boxes andworry monsters and books to some of our inspirational Aberdeen children with cancer and their families. 

Mark Williams, Chief Operating Officer, Denis Law Legacy Trust – Street sport, said: "The LPCT emergency fund played a vital part in our returning as early aswe did and providing disadvantaged young people with a safe environment to enjoy together. The support not only helped the young people themselves, but it also extended to their families as well via food vouchers."

Lisa Duthie, CFINE Chief Executive, said: “I would like to express my gratitude to the Lord Provost, the Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust and everyone who donated towards this fund. 

“The funds that we received from the Lord Provost Hardship Fund allowed CFINE to provide 15,250Kids’ Fruity Five packs to children living in low-income families, which were delivered via CFINE’s contactless home delivery system.

“We also distributed 2,000 Hygiene Packs containing face masks and hand sanitisers to our food bank beneficiaries, which were essential at reducing the spread of the virus among individuals and families who are experiencing hardship during these unprecedented times.”

Fiona Donald, Chairperson, ABERDEEN SANDS said: “Thank you, the grant received has really helped our charity greatly, as we are bereaved parents and volunteers who rely on donations. It has enabled us to support bereaved parents and their families when their precious baby has died, using virtual meetings whilst there restrictions on face to face meetings are in place. We have also posted out books to parents and siblings and hopefully this has supported and comforted them. It is concerning that the restrictions are continuing for the moment, whilst fundraising remains difficult.”  

Graeme Burnett, Russell Anderson Foundation said: "The Russell Anderson Foundation were delighted to receive funding from the Lord Provost's Charitable Hardship Fund. It allowed us to provide much needed support to vulnerable children, at such a crucial time during lockdown. The funding also gave us the opportunity to increase our services to wider community groups - the priority was to provide positive and sustainable outcomes for families."

AberNecessities Co-Founder, Michelle Herd said: “2020 has been a very challenging year for us all and sadly, has pushed more families in our community into poverty. This grant is therefore incredibly timely in helping us to support children and families across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire with the basic essentials they so desperately need. This incredible amount of funding will allow us to provide not only physical necessities such as nappies, baby formula, toiletries, clothing and non-perishable food but also gas and electricity top ups to ensure families have a warm and cosy home.  Support such as this really does make all the difference and we cannot thank the Lord Provost's Hardship Fund enough for this amazing support.”

Emma Bellu, Fundraising and Communications Manager, Aberdeen Cyrenians said: “The Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust Hardship Fund has been both life-saving and heartening for people in crisis to know that communities care, and has ensured no one has been left to suffer alone and without in 2020. 

“Funds to Aberdeen Cyrenians have been vital in ensuring food supplies and cooking facilities for people affected by homelessness, violence, poverty, mental ill-health and addiction challenges. We are so grateful to everyone for their donations and kindness during this difficult year, and are here and ready to help people anyone in crisis to rebuild and recover.”

Donations can still be made to the special crowdfunding page on www.aberdeencovid19.org which allows anyone anywhere to donate to this worthy cause while the Trust considers how it wants to further develop its fundraising efforts in2021.  

Any organisation or individual wishing to discuss making a sizable donation can email lordprovost@aberdeencity.gov.uk  marking it for the attention of Garry Watson, Clerk to The Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust.

100% of all donations received have gone directly to helping those experiencing genuine hardship in Aberdeen due to COVID-19.

Charities that received funding from the hardship fund in 2020 can be found here.