Worcestershire Emergency Fund - Call for Partners

A major emergency strikes Worcestershire. People’s lives are seriously disrupted. Property is damaged and maybe lives are lost. What do we do?

Fortunately the emergency services have plans in place which will alleviate harm and suffering and the councils have recovery plans to move communities on.

But we know that people are generous and want to do their bit. We also know that “official” funds can’t cover everything. That’s where the Emergency Fund comes in.

The Community Foundation has been working with the emergency services and County Council in setting up the fund. We have the plans and procedures in place and we already have £100,000 in the kitty. Now we need to launch the fund. That’s where we need your support.

• If you are a charity or similar organisation that could help people in an emergency and would need funds to do that we want to hear from you.

• If you are an organisation that would collect funds to support others in an emergency then we want to hear from you.

If you think you could be part of this please read on.

When we think of emergencies, in Worcestershire we usually think of flooding, but we could be faced with all sorts of incidents. In the past there has been suffering and disruption because of major fires, foot and mouth, serious transport disruptions and in the future we need to be prepared for similar incidents and worse, particularly with the threat of terrorism looming.

We know that when there is an incident members of the public are generous. Last year’s Yorkshire floods brought in donations of over £2 million and the Soham air tragedy saw donations of £300,000 in three weeks.

Managing such donations so that they are looked after securely and efficiently and get to those most needing help is not a simple matter. This is why the Community Foundation has agreed to co-ordinate arrangements from publicity, online giving and gift aid to managing distribution of funds through trusted organisations, proper accounting and auditing and cost efficient management of funds.

If you are an organisation that would collect donations there is nothing to stop you collecting and distributing yourself. But if you do it through the Emergency Fund then your contribution will be publicly acknowledged and you will not need to worry about the details of managing the funds. If you are an organisation like that we want you to let us have your contact details and in the event of an emergency we will contact you to give you the option of joining in.

If you are a charity or similar organisation with links into communities so that you could distribute funds locally, provide help and support to those who are suffering or assist in some similar way then we want to hear from you. We want to get a register of such organisations – do the “due diligence” up front so that when there is an emergency we can contact you and there should be no delay in getting funds flowing.

If you think that your organisation may wish to be part of this work then please let us know by emailing the address below and we will send you mare detailed information. You can also e-mail any questions you may have.

To let us know that you are interested (with no commitment) or to ask any questions please e-mail our Trustee who is co-ordinating this, Roger Britton on rbritton@btinternet.com and he will get back to you.

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