We launched the Arnold Clark Community Fund on 1st March to help local charities and community groups who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
As part of our commitment to giving back to the communities we operate in, we opened up the fund to help groups continue with some of the amazing work they do.
So far, the fund has had 10,200 applications with 2,500 charities or community groups having now received funding.
Due to overwhelming demand, the fund has been temporarily paused to allow the Community team to catch up with applications. You can keep an eye out for when applications reopen, here.
We spoke with just a few of those charities who have received their funds to find out a little about what they do, and how the fund has helped them.
The BAY Foodbank, founded in 2012, provide food in an emergency to individuals, couples and families who find themselves in financial crisis.
Based in North Shields, in a typical day, the BAY Foodbank can deliver anywhere from 30-50 emergency food parcels.
In September 2022, the foodbank delivered their 45,000th parcel.
Ashgate Hospice is a charity that cares for patients with life-limiting illnesses, and their families, across North Derbyshire. Throughout the pandemic, Ashgate Hospice created a safe environment so that families could still spend valuable time together. Allowing visits during the pandemic significantly increased their running costs so they are using their funds to buy essentials that are needed to maintain this safe environment for their patients, staff and visitors.
Ashgate Hospice didn’t stop visits because they wanted families to still have the chance to make precious memories and say their goodbyes. Paul, whose wife was cared for during the pandemic, said: “Being able to visit as often as I liked made the world of difference. Nothing beats physically being together, we found great comfort in just being close to one another.”
The Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikes is a charity where volunteers do what they love – ride motorcycles – to provide a free out-of-hours courier service delivering small urgent items for the NHS. The Whiteknights are using their funds from the Arnold Clark Community Fund to maintain and keep their fleet of eight motorcycles on the road.
In response to the pandemic, the Whiteknights increased their time on the road, offering a 24/7 service to support the NHS. Last year alone, they responded to 2,800 urgent callouts. Laurence Turner who has 850 volunteer hours said, “I have seen first-hand just how hard medical staff have worked over the past year to save lives, and how that has motivated myself and my fellow blood biker volunteers. Volunteering during the pandemic has been challenging – but very rewarding. I think times like these bring out the best in people.”