A year on from the first lockdown, the impact of COVID-19 has continued to affect our already isolated rural communities. Yet the ingenuity and resilience of these communities has astounded The Prince’s Countryside Fund (PCF).
The PCF is a nationwide charity which powers community-led solutions through their grant programmes. Thanks to the Barclays 100×100 UK Covid-19 Community Relief Programme, the PCF has been able to support a further 13 projects in rural areas that are delivering vital community services and enhancing the lives of people who live there.
Pilling Memorial Hall is one of the lucky beneficiaries and their funding is allowing them to have a part-time local employee to facilitate and promote a Drop-In Café and related events in the new village hall, as well as the purchase of tables and chairs to furnish the Café.
Mike O’Loughlin, the Pilling Memorial Hall Treasurer said: “It is impossible to fully express how much this grant means to us, thank you just doesn’t seem enough.
“We have a wonderful new village hall and your grant will mean we can start to use it meaningfully as soon as Covid-19 restrictions permit. It will allow us to embrace the needs of the isolated individuals in our rural community and give a real focal point to bring people together.”
Keith Halstead, Executive Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, said: “From Kent to Scotland, from Meals-on-Wheels to a rural radio station, the unique ways in which our rural communities have been coming together to support each other through the pandemic is incredible.
“Thanks to funding from Barclays, another 13 communities have been supported through our grant programmes and we hope our investment will help these communities bounce back and thrive.”
Nigel Higgins, Barclays Group Chairman, said: “COVID-19 has created an unprecedented social and economic impact in the UK, with many sadly experiencing greater hardship due to the crisis. Incredible charities, such as The Prince’s Countryside Fund 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 our 100×100 programme and wider community aid package helps ensure that everybody in the communities in which we live and work is supported through this crisis.”
Image credit: Shutterstock.com/ Paul Rookes