A MAJOR campaign has been launched to raise £2 million for vulnerable people in Cheshire affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The appeal comes just one week after Cheshire Community Foundation announced its Covid-19 Response Fund, a scheme prioritising funding to charitable projects during the Covid-19 crisis.

Money will be made available to charities which are seeking grants to support struggling individuals and families.

Now, a new campaign is seeking to raise extra funds, in partnership with Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs MBE, the new High Sheriff of Cheshire, Nick Hopkinson MBE, DL, and Cheshire Community Foundation.

All funds raised will be match funded by the Steve Morgan Foundation.

To launch the appeal, David Briggs, Nick Hopkinson and outgoing High Sheriff of Cheshire, Mark Mitchell DL, made an initial donation of £50,000 which will be matched by the Steve Morgan Foundation to make a total of £100,000.

Nick Hopkinson said: "These are desperate times for many people and this fund could provide a lifeline both for charities and the people they support.

"We are delighted that the Steve Morgan Foundation has so generously agreed to match fund donations to the appeal.

"Please consider donating and, if you are able to, please give generously."

Zoe Sheppard, chief executive of Cheshire Community Foundation, said: "There is an immediate need within the community.

"Many charities are facing an increase in demand while already under resourced and stretched to breaking point.

Once the immediate crisis has passed, many of the people they support will be left more vulnerable in its wake and the fund will aim to help them too.

"This fund is about meeting both the immediate need and the longer-term need."

Steve Morgan CBE said: "Aside from the obvious difficulties that charities are facing, supporting thousands of disadvantaged people, this crisis is causing substantial cashflow issues.

"Normal day-to-day fundraising efforts that the charities undertake have been pulled from under them.

"As the economy shrinks it will be the charities and the vulnerable people who suffer first and we can’t allow that to happen."

Charities seeking funding can apply via Cheshire Community Foundation’s website.

Grants of up to £10,000 will be available in the first instance, but additional further funding may be available should the need arise.

To donate, go to cheshirecommunityfoundation.org.uk, email office@cheshirecommunityfoundation.org.uk or call 01606 330607.

To enquire about funding, charities should go to visit cheshirecommunityfoundation.org.uk/apply-for-funding or contact the grants team at grants@cheshirecommunityfoundation.org.uk