Revealing research puts spotlight on charitable giving in Merseyside

A revealing report has given an insight into the quality of life of those living in Merseyside, including community groups and their beneficiaries.

The Community Foundation for Merseyside specialises in advising and managing strategic charitable giving for businesses, individuals and families seeking to invest in local causes. In 2018/19 it was responsible for distributing £1.3 million to grassroots community groups, projects and services across the county.

Each year the Community Foundation commissions an annual needs assessment, known as Vital Signs, that investigates the vitality of the county, unravels areas of need and shines a spotlight on some of the dedicated community groups striving to make Merseyside a better place to live, work and thrive.

Among the findings revealed by those surveyed for the report included the following:

The Vital Signs report also features case studies, with organisations that have benefitted from funding from the Community Foundation for Merseyside discussing how grants they received have had a transformative impact, highlighting the wide-reaching impact of charitable giving.

The Women’s Health Information and Support Centre (WHISC), in Bold Street, is a charity dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of women and received £9,883 from the Merseyside Women’s Fund to support the continuation of its core services. It also successfully applied for a £2,475 grant from the 23 Foundation to maintain its drop-in support groups for women suffering from depression and anxiety.

Mari Evans, a beneficiary of WHISC, said: “One day I thought I’m going to go in there and see if there is somebody who can help me.

“I came in and straight away was given a cup of tea and I explained my situation. From that day on, my world completely changed.”

The Vital Signs report also features interviews with Toxteth-based 4Wings, which provides a safe environment for socially excluded and marginalised groups; a GP-recommended health and wellbeing fitness initiative in Kirkby; the Whitechapel Centre and Bootle’s 4Kids youth centre.

Rae Brooke, Community Foundation for Merseyside Chief Executive, said: “In the last financial year, the Community Foundation has worked hard to award over £1.3 million through 347 grants. With the help of our donors we have been able to impact and improve 80,000 people’s lives.

“Yet, each year demand for funding outweigh supply. In Merseyside we were unable to fund over 52% of all the applications we receive. Each application we cannot support is potentially a missed opportunity to address a hidden need in the local community. As long as disadvantage continues to exist in our community, our work is not done.”

To read the Community Foundation for Merseyside’s interactive copy of its Vital Signs brochure in full, visit:
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