By Graeme Anderson

A County Durham charity boosted by the generosity of donors – who have given more than £100,000 to a Covid-19 appeal – say dozens of local causes will benefit.

The County Durham Community Foundation launched a £250,000 appeal at the onset of the health crisis to support groups in the region that are delivering food, making PPE, manning advice lines, supporting people with mental health problems and helping discharged patients leave hospital safely.

As the Covid-19 pandemic hits, these local groups, which help the most vulnerable people, are under serious pressure to help those worst affected and often need help to survive.

But local businesses and philanthropists have responded in heartwarming fashion, giving their financial support to the Foundation which actively seeks out and supports worthy local causes.

Among the major contributors have been EMG Solicitors, We are UMI and Learning Curve.

Foundation chief executive Michelle Cooper said: “I started saying ‘thank you’ weeks ago and I haven’t stopped since.

“Every day ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’ as offers of help and money have poured in.

“It really has been the best and worst of times, with the ferocity of the pandemic doused by the swell of human kindness.

“People are giving. And it’s making a difference.”

The Foundation has wasted no time in distributing the money that has flowed in with more than £80,000 of the £123,000 pledged, accounted for with dozens of groups benefiting, including:

• CitySafe – who are mobilising volunteer teams in North West Durham to support 5,000 isolated, elderly and vulnerable people through lockdown,

• Laurel Avenue Community Association – who are supporting Sherburn and Gilesgate families at risk of food poverty while schools are closed,

• Bloodrun EVS – who are helping transport discharged patients in the Cleveland area safely home and so reduce the pressure on the NHS,

Michelle added: “How ingenious and determined these groups are.

“Their resourcefulness is undented and deserves our support but while many are carrying on and helping however they can, just as many have been forced to halt.

“The situation we all find ourselves in is definitely a moving target but I’m also hearing the early signs of those looking ahead to the recovery phase.

“This is not a sprint or even a marathon – it’s an ultra-marathon that will require lots of determination and resources to complete.”

Anyone who wants to know more about the work the Foundation does should go to or email

To support the Foundation’s Covid-19 crowdfunded appeal, check out



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