Being the MP for Maidstone and The Weald gives me a wonderful opportunity to see, at first-hand, the inspirational work that our fantastic charities undertake; the support provided by Kent Association for the Blind (who celebrate their 100th birthday next month); the crucial advice offered by Citizens Rights for Older People; the compassion and care offered by Heart of Kent Hospice; the assistance at times of personal crisis provided by Maidstone and Mid Kent Mind, and so many more.
Regrettably, the Coronavirus crisis has had a profound impact on the finances of many charities across our community. The necessary social distancing measures mean that crucial fundraising events have had to be cancelled and charity shops have had to close.
Last week, I wrote to charities across Maidstone and The Weald to draw their attention to the National Lottery Community Fund which is designed to provide grants to small and medium sized charities who have been negatively affected by Coronavirus. The scheme opened to applications last week and full details on how to apply are available here https://bit.ly/3gc8SPm. If any local charities need support with their application then please do contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am also hugely grateful to a number of local people who contacted me to offer very generous financial and voluntary assistance to our local charities. I was delighted to have connected them with both Maidstone Mencap (where I am very proud to be President), and the West Kent Befriending Service, where their donations and support have been very warmly received. If any readers would like to offer financial assistance or volunteering time to our local charities, in any way, then please do contact me and I will put you in touch with the right people. I can assure you that every penny of any donation you make will be spent wisely and locally, to help the people in our community who need it most.