Charity bosses say funding has transformed lives

From funding paramedics in North Wales to preventing Merseyside and Cheshire charities from having to close, the Steve Morgan Foundation’s Covid-19 Emergency Fund has now benefited one million people.

Just eight weeks after the campaign launched it has made more than 400 awards totalling more than £4m to charities and good causes across Cheshire, North Wales and Merseyside struggling to cope because of the coronavirus.

In addition the Steve Morgan Foundation has agreed to match-fund up £1m raised by Cheshire Community Foundation to support charities helping vulnerable people affected by the pandemic.

Steve Morgan, founder of housebuilder Redrow and former owner of Wolverhampton Wanderers, is also locked in talks to fund a significant £3m Covid-19 medical trial that he can’t currently talk about.  

From tackling isolation and loneliness in the elderly to protecting the mental health of the young, from funding food hampers for the vulnerable to helping victims of domestic violence, the Covid-19 Emergency Fund has been able to pay grants immediately.

In their own words here’s what some of the charities we’ve helped have said:

Charles Maines, CEO of Cheshire-based The Wishing Well, which was awarded £26,282, said: “It has enabled us to deliver for our community in this time of great need. The donation will ensure we will be able to continue our work and allows us the time to build on what Steve and his team have supported.

“We are now delivering over 200 meals a day to vulnerable people who are self-isolating in South Cheshire. This is a remarkable effort from our team of key workers. As well as this we have our phone befriending service now in place that is reaching out to over 60 people every day. We continue our shopping services and medical pick-ups too. 

“To Steve and all of his team at the Steve Morgan Foundation, we thank you for the investment that has allowed us to make this happen. For that, we are so grateful.”

The North Wales Emergency Doctor Service (NWEDS) were to able to recruit and equip two new paramedics after being awarded £30,000 by the Steve Morgan Foundation.

The group is staffed by volunteer doctors and paramedics in North Wales who attend emergencies outside of hospitals and Dr Bryn Ellis, a specialist registrar in anaesthesia and a volunteer with NWEDS, said the funding had made a massive difference.

“The funding received from the Steve Morgan Foundation has enabled the North Wales Emergency Doctor Service to equip its responders to help support the Welsh Ambulance Service during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

“This has helped the North Wales Emergency Service maintain its objective in improving the care of seriously ill and injured patients, by bringing specialist equipment, skill and complex decision-making capabilities to the people of North Wales”

Two charities that joined forces to help the most vulnerable people in society during Covid-19 have described the actions of the Steve Morgan Foundation as “unprecedented”.

The Big Help, which includes Knowsley Foodbank, and Croxteth Federation’s Family Matters Project, were awarded £39,310 by the Steve Morgan Foundation’s Covid-19 Emergency Fund.

They’ve been using two Steve Morgan Foundation Smiley Buses and two newly-bought eco-friendly eBikes to deliver hundreds of food bags and essential supplies to those most in need.

Croxteth Federation’s CEO Ken Eaton said: “These unprecedented times, needed an unprecedented response from a funder to get support out there quickly. It’s amazing what the Steve Morgan Foundation has achieved in such a small timescale for our communities.

“It’s enabled two charities in Croxteth Federation and The Big Help, which includes Knowsley Foodbank, to increase its capacity for advice, hardship support and food delivery to those who most need help. Thanks a million on behalf of our community.”

Social enterprise RainbowBiz CIC was saved from closure after receiving £10,000 from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

The organisation works with the most marginalised members of the North Wales community and were facing a cashflow crisis when Covid-19 forced them to close their Hippy Shop in Mold.

Director Sue Oliver said: “Since receiving the funding our organisation feels secure in the short-term.  Our bills continue to be paid even though our trading arm and source of sustainability has had to temporarily close.  The funding came very quickly and that is a credit to the Steve Morgan Foundation understanding the third sector.”

North Wales charity Carers Outreach Service was able to continue to stay in touch with the army of unpaid carers it supports after receiving £21,000 in emergency funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

Chief officer Llinos Mair Roberts said: “Thank you so much to the Steve Morgan Foundation for supporting Carers Outreach during these unprecedented times.  The award from the Covid-19 Emergency Fund has allowed us to continue our support to unpaid carers in a seamless and responsive manner.   By supporting us, Steve Morgan Foundation is supporting thousands of unpaid carers in North West Wales.”

Central Cheshire Buddy Scheme (CCBS) handed out ‘bags of happiness’ after being awarded £7,340 by the Steve Morgan Foundation.

The charity supports children and young people with disabilities and applied to the Covid-19 Emergency Fund to fund a support worker to maintain links with families during the coronavirus.

Co-founder Stephanie Lawley said: “The Steve Morgan Foundation has made a huge difference to Cheshire Buddies. It has enabled us to continue to support families with a disabled child (over 100) during these difficult times, supporting over 300 disabled children and young people.

“We have been distributing treats, activities, games, baking kits and craft activities to keep children and parents occupied. We have helped 40 parents access local food banks and supported 12 families in crisis.

“Cheshire Buddies would like to thank the team at the Steve Morgan Foundation for turning the bid around so quickly, which made a huge difference. We were awarded the grant in two days and were able to hit the ground running by supporting families straight away.”

Homeless charity The Cotton Street Project in Liverpool faced closing its doors until the Steve Morgan Foundation stepped in with an emergency grant of £20,000.

Last year the charity took 73 homeless people with a drug, alcohol or gambling problem off Liverpool’s streets and gave them a new start but they faced an uncertain future when Covid-19 saw their funding dry up.

Head of charity Andrea Pankiw said: “The grant we received from the Steve Morgan Foundation will not only change lives here at Cotton Street but will save lives.  We’re forever grateful.”

Stick ‘n’ Step has been helping children with cerebral palsy for nearly 20 years but was left facing tough times after Covid-19 seriously impacted their ability to continue fundraising.

The charity was set up in Wallasey in 2002 and has gone from strength-to-strength, prompting them to open a second centre in Runcorn three years ago with help from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

The charity furloughed some of their staff but didn’t want to stop all their life-changing work and were awarded £21,000 by the Covid-19 Emergency Fund.

Janet Ratcliffe, trusts and grants fundraiser at Stick ‘n’ Step, said: “The grant from the Steve Morgan Foundation has enabled us to continue paying the salaries of our conductors who have adapted the ‘hands on’ classroom sessions they normally offer to children with cerebral palsy to allow the families to benefit from personalised homework plans which have included video tutorials and/or photos. 

“The conductors have also been offering telephone and email support and where appropriate, have also been delivering specialist equipment to families to help the children maintain their activities and routines.”

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