The nationwide initiative, which forms part of Virgin Media O2’s support for the Together Coalition, is providing £1,000 grants for environmental and community projects which champion and celebrate community spirit, belonging and togetherness.
Following a shortlisting process, 400 community-based charities will receive funding – distributed by Neigbourly – ahead of ‘Thank You Day’ on Sunday 4 July. ‘Thank You Day’ is the Together Coalition’s national day of celebration to give thanks to people who have supported others during the past year, and builds on the community spirit experienced during lockdown.
In addition, Virgin Media O2 is funding the Together Coalition’s ‘Community Connectors’ initiative by investing in 10 communities across the UK identified as areas of low social equity. Community Connectors will help to facilitate and run events and activities on Thank You Day which are designed to have a lasting, positive impact on those communities.
Virgin Media O2’s strategic charity partners, Carers UK and The Climate Coalition, have also received additional funding to hold Thank You Day events
Says Nicola Green, Chief Communications & Corporate Affairs Officer at Virgin Media O2:
“We’ve been blown away by the fantastic response to the Virgin Media O2 Together Fund from charities across the UK.
“It has been inspiring to read the hundreds of amazing applications from grassroots organisations whose incredible work has been a lifeline to communities up and down the country – despite the pressures and challenges they have faced during the pandemic.
“It was no easy task to select the final 400 charities to receive the funding, and we’re incredibly proud to be supporting the Together Coalition and supercharging Thank You Day which will bring people together and celebrate community spirit on Sunday 4 July”.
Charities receiving funding, include:
- Forest of Hearts (Stratford upon Avon, England) is working on a range of initiatives including an edible Kitchen Garden at a local NHS Hospital. They want to use augmented reality to help educate people about the plants in their gardens and their value to biodiversity and wellbeing and will be using the funding to create an online volunteer management system to further their service and impact.
- Wye Gymnastics & Galaxy Cheerleading (Caldicot, Wales) will be delivering an online afternoon tea for its volunteers and two qualifications in seated gymnastics, a course designed for the older generation, those with reduced mobility and those that suffer from dementia.
- DOCA Community Project (Devizes, England) will host a celebratory event for its volunteers and supporters involved in its Counting Trees initiative, developing a ‘Festival Woodland’ for the local community. During the event, DOCA will take the opportunity to record some of the personal stories around the tree dedications and those instrumental in the project’s success.
- Habitats & Heritage (London, England) is a charity that cares for the natural and historic environment in south and west London. Their event on 4th July will engage and bring together staff, volunteers, residents and other members from the local community, whilst local project ‘Pallets2BirdBoxes’ will be offering a number of practical workshops and online resources that teach people how to create bird boxes from reclaimed materials.
- Tortoise in a Nutshell (Edinburgh, Scotland) will run a series of workshops and visual theatre performances for families and individuals in Caithness and Easterhouse in Glasgow. There will be a focus on those who have been particularly isolated as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and who have experienced a decrease in their mental health and wellbeing.
- Kilcooley Women’s Centre (Bangor, Northern Ireland) is using the funding to support the development of their digital classroom, providing digital learning support and mentoring to help local people access training opportunities and develop their digital confidence.