The Kensington + Chelsea Foundation (K+C Foundation), which raises funds for local projects providing support for vulnerable residents, has secured £150,000 of matched funding pledges for its Covid-19 Appeal from Cadogan, the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust and the Rockspring Charitable Trust.
Cadogan, which owns 93-acres of London around Chelsea and Knightsbridge and is the long-term principal supporter of K+C Foundation, has pledged £50,000 to the appeal. The donation comes as Cadogan announces its measures to support distressed companies and vulnerable residents, as part of its continued stewardship of the borough.
In addition, £50,000 has been pledged by both the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust – a charitable fund set up by local residents Julia and Hans Rausing to realise their philanthropy – and the Rockspring Charitable Trust, which emerged from a Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) headquartered international investment management company originally established in 1984.
The K+C Foundation, which was established in 2008, will use the funds to support frontline services such as care packages for the elderly and vulnerable residents in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, co-ordinated and delivered by Age UK K+C. The care packages will include food and drink supplies and other essentials and will be sent weekly through the pandemic.
With K+C Foundation’s support, Kensington and Chelsea’s Age UK K+C, a borough focused division of the leading charity for older people, has set up a core distribution centre at Al Manaar mosque in North Kensington and is supported by local delivery businesses donating their staff and vehicles.
Council data shows the borough has the highest proportion of lone pensioner households (15.1%) in the country, with 20,000 local residents – 12% of the borough’s population – over the age of 65. The funds will help to support these homes with care packages while individuals are in isolation as a result of the government’s measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The foundation is also concerned about the safety of individuals and families who are isolating in households which are difficult and potentially violent, and the requirement to adapt or create services to minimise their risk. As the situation develops over the coming months, there will be an additional need to support local partners to rebuild services and stabilise after having lost significant income sources.
The K+C Foundation is experienced in disaster response work, having raised £7,000,000 to support the survivors and families of the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017, with the fire taking place in the borough.
Outside of disaster relief, the K+C Foundation supports local residents of all ages in skills and employment, helping to up-skill those that need it.
Many people are unaware that the borough of Kensington and Chelsea has the highest proportion of people living alone (47%) and that nearly a quarter of working residents of Kensington and Chelsea earn less than the London Living Wage. Since its inception in 2008 the K+C Foundation has raised £14,000,000 for its work supporting those most in need across the borough.
Victoria Steward Todd, director of Kensington + Chelsea Foundation said: “This appeal will go a long way in supporting local partners to provide essential care packages and further assistance to those in need within the local community.”
“Thanks to the generous donations from people across the borough and beyond, vulnerable and elderly individuals will not be alone during this time. But for our plans to continue, we need more support. We urge everyone to donate as much as they can, so that we can reach those that need it most. The next £100,000 donated to our appeal will be matched by Cadogan and Rockspring Charitable Trust, doubling the value of each gift.”
Hugh Seaborn, chief executive at Cadogan said: “We have been long term supporters of the Kensington + Chelsea Foundation because they provide vital support to projects and partners across the area, which so often get left behind or overlooked. The role of community foundations has never been more vital and they allow organisations like us to channel support to where it is most needed. We will continue to partner with them in the months to come and are extremely grateful for everything they do.”
Jess Millwood, CEO at Age UK K+C said: “Many older people had already been feeling isolated and lonely before the Coronavirus crisis struck and while the measures introduced by the government to help fight Covid-19 are necessary, they do risk increasing social isolation, especially for the elderly.”
“Not only does staying within your own home have physical health implications for the older people, who are not able to shop easily for themselves or get adequate exercise, but it can also have a severe impact on mental health – especially through loneliness of those living by themselves. In our first week we’ve already delivered over 300 care packages and 60 fresh meals. We’re also connecting 300 lonely older people with volunteers for phone buddying. Teaming up with the like-minded Kensington + Chelsea Foundation has helped us to continue and expand our all-important work to make sure the borough receives the help it needs during this unprecedented time.”
To donate to the appeal, please visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/displayCharityCampaignPage.action?campaignId=11558&charityId=1018629
Pictured: Victoria Steward Todd