THE Welcome at Longridge is among 140 organisations across Cheshire East and West and Warrington supported by the Covid-19 Response Fund.

The fund was set up by Cheshire Community Foundation in April to help people affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and has distributed more than £500,000 in grants.

Backed by Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire David Briggs, new High Sheriff of Cheshire Nick Hopkinson, and previous High Sheriff Mark Mitchell, the fund attracted more than £1 million in donations.

The Steve Morgan Foundation agreed to provide match funding for many of the projects.

Cheshire Community Foundation has played a vital role in managing the fund and ensuring grants reach the organisations that most need them.

In Cheshire East successful charities include Age UK Cheshire East, The Welcome and East Cheshire Hospice.

Sarah Riley, manager of The Welcome said: “We have been very hectic as we moved focus from our usual day-to-day activities and services to establishing an emergency food distribution centre here at The Welcome.

“Thank you to all our funders who have been so supportive and understanding of these necessary changes.”

Among the services offered by the hub have been emergency food parcels, a free hot meal service, online and phone counselling and online youth activities.

Cheshire Community Foundation will shortly announce a new strategic grants programme, making use of the outstanding money raised to help charities affected by coronavirus to ‘adapt and survive’.

Zoe Sheppard, CEO of Cheshire Community Foundation, said: “We are thrilled to have been able to help so many charities in such a short space of time and when their need has been at its greatest. This has only been possible thanks to the huge generosity of our donors and to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved at Cheshire Community Foundation.

“We are still to see the full impact on our communities from the coronavirus pandemic and are looking forward to the imminent launch of the next phase of our response via a new strategic grants programme, helping to match our donors’ money with the causes that most require their support.”