When the Government made £6.6 million available to Norfolk County Council as part of the national Household Support Fund, the Council realised they would struggle to reach the many people who were vulnerable but not connected to statutory support.
Acknowledging this, they approached the Norfolk Community Foundation for assistance. The Foundation was able to deliver £1million in food and fuel aid to over 10,000 vulnerable households via grassroots voluntary groups, charities and social enterprises VCSEs that operate in hard-to-reach communities.
The Foundation is one of 47 Community Foundations based in the UK, all of whom support community needs and local organisations in their respective regions. Norfolk Community Foundation was able to draw on its well-established relationships with hundreds of trusted, hyper-local VCSE partners to quickly and responsibly get the funding to the vulnerable, hard-to-reach households the Council wished to target.
The Foundation’s in-depth community knowledge gave rise to creative solutions to maximise impact. For example, community supermarkets (which offer highly discounted food to vulnerable clients) used the £50-per-household payment to top up members’ accounts, allowing clients to spend their credit responsibly. This also let charities attract new clients, build relationships with vulnerable clients, and signpost them on to other voluntary or statutory support they were entitled to.