We are delighted to announce that WAY Widowed and Young has been awarded six months of funding from the UK Government’s emergency Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund.
In April, the Government set out an extra £750 million of coronavirus funding for frontline charities. £370 million of this was set aside for small to medium sized charities like WAY that are at the heart of local communities, making a big difference during the outbreak.
The new funds awarded for WAY’s ‘Project Solidarity’ are incredibly welcome and will help WAY to continue to strengthen our volunteer network, which will in turn help us to support people who have been widowed at young age at this particularly challenging time.
“We are delighted that our application to the Coronavirus Community Support Fund has been successful,” said WAY’s Chief Executive Rebecca Cooper.
“This funding will help us to continue to strengthen our volunteer network, at a time when it is most needed to support people who, sadly, are eligible to join our charity’s peer to peer support network.”
Since the lockdown began in March, WAY has seen the number of enquiries made to our charity increase by nearly 50% and we have seen a 12% increase in the number of young widowed people joining our charity for support, a proportion of whom have lost their partner to Covid-19. We have also seen a significant increase in requests for financial assistance through the charity for support with membership fees.
This surge in demand has led to the increased need for support from our volunteers for both new and existing WAY members at an incredibly difficult time. The effect of Covid-19 means that many young widowed people have experienced a range of challenges – including increased isolation through lockdown and increased levels of distress in bereavement due to new procedures that have severely restricted normal ways of grieving, not to mention increased levels of financial anxiety. All this has come at a time when fundraising events have been cancelled, putting an increased strain on many charity’s finances.
Funds from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund will help WAY to continue to support recruitment, training and resources for our volunteers, all of whom have been widowed at a young age themselves, and will also support our charity with ongoing internal costs including our website, which is so integral to allowing our members and volunteers to connect with each other.
“We would like to say a big thank you to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for making this vital support possible at a time when WAY’s work is needed more than ever before,” said Rebecca.