It has become clear during the last couple of months that the COVID 19 pandemic is creating an unprecedented challenge for civil and wider society. Whilst we continue to try to minimise the damage done to the causes we support and to respond to their immediate needs, as the crisis unfolds and shifts we are increasingly aware that when the lockdown is over the crisis is not going to go away and the huge impact on civil society and its work will remain for the foreseeable future.
For this reason we are working closely with others to try and secure the social justice sector. Our conviction is that the best and most effective response to the crisis is to work in partnership and contribute to the collective efforts of our sector, hence the approaches we are taking with other funders and with sector leaders, many of whom have much greater resources than Barrow Cadbury Trust. These joint responses with other national funders currently include:
• Involvement in the ACF-led initiative to establish a COVID 19-related funders’ hub for around 18 months to comprise a data platform, a learning exchange, networking capacity and a funding resource enquiry portal (details in development).
• Contributing to, and helping with, dispersal of Migration Exchange’s emergency fund for the immediate needs of refugees and migrants.
• A contribution to the Heart of England Community Foundation’s Emergency Appeal
• An investment in the government-backed Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund to provide low cost emergency loans to charities and social enterprises experiencing short to medium term cash flow problems.
We continue to remain in close touch with those we fund. We regret we are unable to support appeals other than from current or recent partners of the Trust.
The pandemic has brought into painful relief the inequality of life in the UK, with BAME communities, low income households, women, disabled people and carers all carrying heavier burdens. Not to minimise the imbalance of the negative impact on men of contracting and dying from the virus in significantly greater numbers.
At the same time, the pandemic has shown our capacity for innovation, bringing new ways of working and a groundswell of community spirit. Some of those changes – for example closer working relationships between statutory agencies, civil society and communities – are welcome. One of the things we are focusing on is how we can capture positive change and use it to ‘build back better’.