A new fund designed to support local communities across County Durham who have been negatively affected by the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic has been announced today by Durham BID in partnership with Durham County Community Foundation.
The Life InDurham Fund is appealing to members of the public to embrace the same sense of community spirit felt across the county during the first lockdown, and come together to donate what they can, in order to support those who are struggling across local communities as the region continues to battle the virus.
Adam Deathe, Manager at Durham BID, explained: “Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the City and the businesses who call Durham their home. This in turn affects jobs and incomes, with a clear symbiotic link between the business and residential community.
“Community can sometimes be felt and seen but the #ClapForCarers movement allowed us to actually hear community spirit in action. When we thought the world stopped at our doorstep, we learned that it went along our street, and then we could hear the next street clap, and then the next. It felt like collectively we belonged to something during some of our darkest days.
“Sadly, we don’t always hear when the community needs help. What we hope to do is enable people to provide help to those that need it at this most challenging time. This is the purpose of the Life InDurham Fund at the Community Foundation. It’s about people living locally raising money to support those across the county – right here in our own community – who have been impacted most by Covid-19, and need to feel the effects of a community effort coming together to help each other out when it’s needed most.”
The Life InDurham Fund is to be managed by the County Durham Community Foundation, who through the support of generous donors, will match-fund the monies raised to a value of £50,000. Using the team’s local knowledge of community groups, good causes and other charitable organisations across the county, the Community Foundation will then distribute grants from the Life InDurham Fund to support those who are most in need.
Michelle Cooper, Chief Executive of the County Durham Community Foundation, said: “As the second national lockdown begins, it’s clear that the tough times are far from over. By supporting the Life InDurham Fund, people can make sure communities get what they need to survive and rebuild. Every single pound can change a life – one of our recent grants of £1,000 helped 67 families because the group we gave it to knew who needed help and acted fast. Small interventions can literally prevent a family becoming homeless and we are grateful to have a network that can really deliver.”
The partnership announcement between Durham BID and the Community Foundation is just one element of a major re-brand for Durham BID, as the business improvement district launches a new campaign called Life InDurham, aimed to help Durham City and the wider county recover from the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Adam Deathe continues: “The core values of the Life InDurham brand is to help all City users, whether they be visitors or residents, businesses or students – the list goes on – adapt to a new way of living their lives in Durham City. After all, Covid-19 has changed things considerably for us all, and while we eagerly await a vaccination programme, until then we’re all going to have to learn how to live with this virus.
“Using the rainbow image and vibrant colours representing a symbol of hope, community and togetherness, our recovery campaign will be delivered under this new and improved branding, with the launch of a brand-new website featuring informative animations, how-to-videos, integration with the ROAM app, supported by Durham’s very own radio station – Durham OnAir – as well as the creation of a brand-new city-wide bi-monthly magazine at the very heart of it all.”
The purpose of the BID’s re-brand is two-fold; to support city centre businesses get back on their feet after the lockdown, by helping them to adapt to new ways of working and delivering services, while encouraging consumers to use Durham City businesses online, or when government guidelines allow, to visit the City in a safe and Covid-secure way, so that all City users can work together to adapt to a new normal and enjoy what the City has to offer.
The new Life InDurham website is now live and people are able to donate to the Life InDurham Fund via the website.
For more information about Life InDurham or to make a donation to the Life InDurham Fund at the County Durham Community Foundation, visit: www.lifeindurham.co.uk