Bernicia donates £200,000 to tackle coronavirus impact

The North East housing association Bernicia has donated £200,000 to help charities and other local organisations tackle issues caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Eight local authorities across the North East will benefit from the funding, which will see councils using their local knowledge to ensure the money is given to organisations best able to help people in need.

The cash forms part of the Bernicia Foundation, Bernicia’s £1 million charity fund which supports organisations promoting social inclusion and young talent in the North East.

John Holmes, chair of Bernicia and the foundation, said: “Given the huge impact of the coronavirus on society, the foundation trustees have brought forward a significant proportion of funding, as they wanted this to go out immediately to support people in need.

“We have fantastic local authorities in the North East and a wonderful community spirit where everyone is trying to help. As a North East business Bernicia just wants to support the region and its communities.”

While the Bernicia Foundation usually seeks bids from individuals or organisations, Bernicia decided to remove any delay in getting aid out quickly to communities by allocating the funding directly to local authorities where it operates.

The housing association has contacted the councils to make them aware of their allocation and to ask them to specify which organisations they would like them to donate to.

Northumberland County Council is one of the eight local authorities which will benefit from the Bernicia Foundation’s support.

Councillor Cath Homer, Cabinet Member responsible for community and voluntary sector support, said: “This is an absolutely fantastic announcement which will make a real difference to many people during this difficult time.”

Bernicia is working closely with its local councils during the COVID-19 crisis, sharing information to help keep vulnerable people safe and making extra welfare calls.

The housing association is also making properties available to rehome those in urgent need, as well as staff to fit adaptations to people’s homes free of charge, helping them to get home from hospital more quickly.

Photo credit: Bernicia

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