Wokingham Council – Crowdfund to support community through cost of living crisis
A historically difficult and financially challenging winter means more people are struggling than ever before.
In response to the cost of a living crisis a crowdfund has been launched to support Wokingham Borough charities help even more people if they need it.
Wokingham Borough Council has teamed up with Wokingham United Charities and Berkshire Community Foundation to provide an extra £2 for every £1 donated by the public, up to £50,000.
The fund will be opened up to local voluntary and charity groups to provide support directly to the communities they know best. Donations can be made via the Surviving Winter Crowdfunder page.
Thousands of families across the area are making a desperate choice this winter between making enough food for the whole house or keeping their homes warm. They’ve made it through Christmas but now face long, cold months with rising food prices and expensive bills. They need help.
Cllr Rachel Bishop-Firth, executive member for equalities, inclusion and fighting poverty, who is leading the council’s response to the cost of living crisis, said: “Our wonderful charities that support people who are in financial difficulties are doing a great job, but they are being stretched by increasing costs and demands. We need to help them to help others.
“This fund will raise money that charities across Wokingham Borough can use for projects such as running warm spaces, providing food or essential items and other projects to make a difference. All the money will go to voluntary groups and charities dedicated to helping those struggling to cope financially.”
Amy Garstang, chair of the Hardship Alliance and manager at Wokingham United Charities, said: “We know Wokingham Borough’s charities are making a real difference to thousands of people this winter but ongoing work like this requires financial backing.
“We’re matching all funding up to £50,000 alongside the council to potentially create a £150,000 pot of funding which will help our borough’s communities in the most difficult financial situation in decades.”
Jon Yates, chief executive officer at Berkshire Community Foundation, said: “Berkshire Community Foundation is all about enabling people to support their local communities so that those in need get the right type of support when they need it.
“The Surviving Winter fund will enable the right organisations in Wokingham Borough to continue to provide the right support to the people they know best. Helping them through these financial challenges and helping them to build a more sustainable future.”
The Hardship Alliance is leading the borough’s response to the cost of living crisis. It was formed in January 2022 to tackle poverty in the borough.
Members of the Hardship Alliance are Age UK Berkshire, Citizens Advice Wokingham, Wokingham Foodbank, Wokingham United Charities, First Days Children’s Charity and Wokingham Borough Council.
All the latest cost of living help and advice for the borough can be found on the cost of living help hub.