HEALS LAUNCHES EMERGENCY HARDSHIP FUND FOR MALMESBURY - APRIL 2020
An Emergency Hardship Fund has been launched to help people in Malmesbury and surrounding villages who have little or no income and are facing debt or struggling to pay bills, as a result of the current crisis. The Fund is run by local charity Heals of Malmesbury, which supports vulnerable individuals and families in the area.
Malmesbury Mayor Cllr Julie Exton, who helped to set up Heals nine years ago and chose the charity to be one of her mayoral year beneficiaries, is supporting the Fund. Deputy Mayor Cllr Campbell Ritchie and 15 previous town mayors have also added their support. They are joined by town church leaders, including Malmesbury Abbey’s Reverend Oliver Ross.
Sponsors and residents who have already heard about the Fund have contributed more than £3,000 in the last few days. Gavin Grant, Heals Chair of Trustees, said “We know some people in our area are struggling. Many have lost their income as businesses close. There is some Government help, but some people are slipping through the cracks, while others may have to wait for weeks or months for their cash. Many also have no savings.
“Meanwhile, people need to pay essential bills or replace broken household equipment. Our Fund will help them. We don’t want people resorting to payday loans and getting into serious debt. We’ve seen this happen to people we are now helping. They borrowed hundreds of pounds for important reasons, but now owe thousands. Our Heals Hardship Fund has got off to a great start. The initial response has been fantastic, but we know we will need a lot more money to help people who have been hard hit in our area get through this crisis."
Donations can be made online at Local Giving: https://localgiving.org/appeal/malmesburyhardshipfund/Contributions can also be made by bank transfer to the Malmesbury Area Covid-19 Emergency Hardship Fund, account number 21527088, sort code 40 31-07, or by cheque (made payable to ‘Heals’) and posted to Heals, Malmesbury Town Hall, Cross Hayes, Malmesbury, SN16 9BZ
Applications for help from the Emergency Fund are now open and should be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance, or by completing the Contact Us online form on the Heals website www.healsmalmesbury.co.uk Applicants will need to provide some confidential details about their current finances. The Fund will help pay bills or make essential purchases, rather than hand out money direct to applicants.
The 23 Fund Supporters are: Malmesbury Mayors past and present
Cllr Julie Exton
Cllr Fran Vandelli
Cllr Wayne Jones
Cllr Catherine Doody
Malmesbury Church leaders
The Rev’d Oliver Ross, Malmesbury Abbey
Rev’d Sarah Simpson, Minister, Malmesbury United Reformed Church
Mark and Lydia Faithfull, Lead Pastors Hope Church
Father Thomas Kulandaisamy MSFS, St Aldhelms Malmesbury
Cllr Campbell Ritchie, Deputy Mayor of Malmesbury
Cllr Gavin Grant, Wiltshire Councillor for Malmesbury