JRF and JRHT donate £100,000 to support coronavirus emergency response in York

JRF and JRHT announce £100,000 funding grant for the Two Ridings Community Foundation to support its response to coronavirus.

The York-based Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT) have today announced a £100,000 funding grant for the Two Ridings Community Foundation to support its response to coronavirus.

The money will be used for the Coronavirus Community Fund established by Two Ridings Community Foundation to help community and voluntary organisations across North and East Yorkshire to respond to the pandemic. These organisations have rapidly turned around new and innovative services to ensure that people stay safe, fed and well.

One of the organisations to benefit so far is Move the Masses, a York-based charity which is enlisting volunteers to make welfare calls and deliver prescriptions to hundreds of isolated people in York. Another is Peasholme Charity, which is supporting those who are rough sleeping or at risk of homelessness.

As well as using funds to help with its immediate response, the Two Ridings Community Foundation will also be working with others to ensure that vital charitable organisations across the region can continue to thrive in the future, post-coronavirus.

JRF and JRHT were founded in 1904 by visionary York-based businessman Joseph Rowntree, to provide housing in communities and to understand the root causes of social problems. Today, JRF is an independent social change organisation working to solve UK poverty. Since the coronavirus outbreak, it has published recommendations for government on how to protect people living in poverty from the economic impact of coronavirus.

The Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust is a registered housing association and care provider in York and north-east England, working to inspire social change. Since the coronavirus outbreak, JRHT has been continuing to prioritise essential care services and support for vulnerable residents, remaining in regular contact with residents and ensuring those who face financial uncertainty as a result of coronavirus have access to the help and advice they need.

Helen Barnard, Acting Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said:

“Coronavirus is highlighting how much we all rely on each other in our society. At JRF and JRHT we have been listening to people, communities and organisations in the places where we work, and we’ve heard that the coronavirus pandemic is increasing the risk of being pulled into poverty for many of us. We’ve also heard how vital the work of the community and voluntary sector is in keeping us all supported and connected, so we’re very pleased to be able to play our part by strengthening the support available in our community.

“When the lockdown and pandemic eventually end, we know that for many people, poverty will continue. We need to keep looking out for each other; to keep compassion and justice at the heart of our communities and services; and to keep strengthening the systems and organisations that can support all of us when times get tough.”

Chris Simpson, Director of the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust said:

“In York, we know that the response across the city has been remarkable, but that many community organisations are worried for their futures, and for the people they support. JRF and JRHT are part of the life of the city – we build homes, provide care and enable social change for local people – so we are responding to this situation by supporting local people, places and communities to weather the coronavirus storm. We hope this funding will allow the Two Ridings Community Fund to help community and voluntary organisations to stay afloat and keep working through the coming weeks and months, and to plan for the future.

“Through JRHT, we will continue to work alongside people in York, as well as Scarborough and Hartlepool and across our care communities to maintain our critical services, to meet their emergency needs and to stay safe, connected and supported.”

Jan Garrill, CEO at Two Ridings Community Foundation said:

“On behalf of the charitable organisations in York that will benefit from the Two Ridings Coronavirus Community Fund, I would like to thank JRF & JRHT for this fantastic and very generous donation. We know, from our work to date, that whilst all communities are affected by this crisis and lockdown, those already living in poverty or facing health inequalities will be some of the hardest hit. With this donation we will be able to support local York organisations helping people in crisis right now. Thank you.”