A FUND has been launched to raise money to support community groups in Herefordshire helping to look after the isolated and vulnerable during the coronavirus crisis.

The Hereford City Rotary Club have set up an online appeal after the pandemic forced it to halt some major fundraising events.

Instead they want donations to build up a cache of money that can be used to hand out grants to local community groups and charities.

Covid-19 mutual aid groups have been springing up across the county, with the help of thousands of volunteers ready to deliver groceries, look after pets or simply friendly isolated ill or elderly people.

The fund has been developed in conjunction with Herefordshire Council and Herefordshire Voluntary Organisations Support Service (hvoss) to ensure a co-ordinated approach.

“Members of the club are delighted to be able to support this work during these unprecedented times,” said club president Katie Farmer.

“We realise there is going to be huge demand for local groups and charities to support people in need, in their local areas. We also realise that these groups will not be able or have time to fund raise.”

“We anticipate having a grant application form available early next week and will promote it through Herefordshire Council, hvoss, and various other websites, including the Rotary Covid-19 Volunteers Face Book page.

“hvoss is working with the Rotary Club on the urgent Covid-19 Appeal,” said hvoss chief executive Will Lindesay.

“We are all aware of the incredible local community action already happening in all communities across Herefordshire in response to Covid-19.

“Funds raised will enable quick immediate access to small amounts of funding to enable local action groups and voluntary organisations to get on with supporting some of the most vulnerable and isolated."

Further information for Community Sector organisations is available at: http://www.hvoss.org.uk/latest-news/covid-19-latest.aspx

Follow the link to donate to the fund: http://paypal.com/gb/fundraiser/charity/3255653