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Pockets of hope to lift the spirits

Kerry Amory, our social value coordinator talks about the pockets of hope she’s found during the pandemic which has made a challenging year stand out.

What a year it’s been! As we approach the Christmas break it brings into even greater focus the individuals and organisations who need our support to get back on their feet and thrive once again.

Our own community funds have never seemed more crucial as charities and organisations struggle to fundraise, amidst the need for social distancing.

Lifting the spirits

And so it becomes even more heart-warming to hear the stories from people in the community who have been making such a difference and helping those feeling isolated and in need of a helping hand.

I’ve spent the past few weeks meeting, albeit virtually, with some of the many charities and groups we’re supporting and every time it’s brought a smile to my face.

It’s been a struggle for all of us to stay motivated and remain positive in the face of the pandemic but hearing of the work people are doing has given me real hope and has been the greatest tonic.

I am in huge admiration for their creativity and determination to find ways to support others during these times. From allotment societies to upcycling groups, they’ve all pulled together.

Social Value

In our first wave of grants from our £350,000 Mercia Park Community Fund, we supported 18 organisations and awarded over £90,000. has also been helping organisations throughout the pandemic.

Social Value has always been in IM Properties’ DNA as a business and going forward into 2021, you can expect to see even greater ambition to deliver more sustainable developments.

Sometimes it’s just the simplest of things which can be a gamechanger for the community groups and the individuals – like the new goalposts for a girl’s football team or the access ramp to a village hall to ensure the less able can still go to their favourite gardening club.

For those still fortunate enough to be heading up thriving businesses, to invest in our communities can create both a positive social and economic impact.

A huge thank you

Reaching those grassroots organisations and finding the people who will benefit most could not have been possible, however, without the tireless work of the organisations who manage our funds.

I’d like to say a massive thank you to The Heart of England Community Foundation for managing our Peddimore Community Fund and the Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation for all their hard work with the Mercia Park fund.

They also deserve huge congratulations and a long break most probably, after the endless hours they’ve given to campaigning and awarding grants from their COVID recovery funds. They’ve raised significant sums over the pandemic and helped so many people.

Connecting People

To see the real difference social value makes, I leave you with the words of Brian Abraham, the churchwarden at St Laurence Church in Measham, North-West Leicester.

Brian gives up his time to look after the buildings and was awarded a grant to help make the church hall COVID secure.

“We worked hard to get the hall open again after the first lockdown and it was such a lovely sight to see the delight on people’s faces, particularly the elderly when they were finally able to come together and see each other again. It lifted everyone’s spirits.”

Have a safe & happy Christmas.

For further information on how to apply for the funds visit:

https://www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk/peddimore-community-fund/

https://www.llrcommunityfoundation.org.uk/apply-for-funds/mercia-park-community-fund-open/