Voices from the Pandemic: Volume 1


As the largest funder of community activity in the UK, we’ve seen charities finding new ways to bring support and connection to the people they serve. Even in lockdown, Shantona Women’s and Family Centre found ways to check in on and support those vulnerable to domestic abuse. Friends at the End rethought their approach to networking, and saw enquiries triple.

As the crisis continued, we’ve seen the importance of being alert and nimble enough to address what people are going through right now. ACE- Action in Caerau and Ely offered a joined up service of wellbeing as well as practical support, filling in gaps in provision. And when Shifting the Dial saw issues that the community needed to share, they put together a 3,000-strong Zoom conference in a single day.

Our grantholders share the visions that underpin their work, leading through the pandemic and into recovery. We’ve heard how much it matters for charities to keep their core purpose in mind – not just chasing new funding opportunities, but focusing on what beneficiaries really need.

They’ve shown why simple interventions like the power of creativity have had such an important role in people’s wellbeing and sense of connection. The Right Key used music to support people recovering from addiction, bringing its community “clean and sober” through the harsh demands of lockdown. And Home-Start Wandsworth’s activity packs meant isolated families felt cared for, with crafts helping parents as well as children to connect and tell their own stories.

Across the UK, across different communities and challenges, our grantholders have found solutions, connections and ways forward. This first instalment of Voices from the Pandemic shares some of the ways that they’ve done it.