The JLC and Work Avenue launch fund for people impacted by Covid-19 with initial £285,000

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The JLC in partnership with Work Avenue has established a fund to support those across the community whose earnings have been directly affected by COVID-19.  The fund specifically assists those who are ineligible for Government support or who face delays accessing Government funds.

Throughout the response to the pandemic the community has been working hard and working together to provide assistance and advice in these uncertain times.  As a coalition of the largest Jewish charities in the UK with regional managers working alongside the representative councils in Leeds, Manchester and Scotland, and divisions responsible for schools, leadership and youth provision, the JLC has been well placed to connect, coordinate and add capacity to efforts across many sectors and parts of the UK.

Work Avenue, the community’s leading employment and business charity, has the experience and expertise to administer this fund open to everyone in the community whose employment or earnings have been directly affected by COVID-19.

During a few short days ahead of and around Pesach the swift and hugely generous response of philanthropists has enabled the fund to launch initially with a quarter of a million pounds and a commitment of additional funds if needed. The contributors to this fund include The Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust, The Gerald and Gail Ronson Family Foundation, The Max Barney Foundation, The Wohl Legacy, Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe, Genesis Philanthropy Group, The Bloom Foundation, The Goldstein Family and Investream Charitable Trust.

For more information and to apply people should visit theworkavenue.org.uk/covid19/.

Jonathan Goldstein, Chair of the JLC, said: “The world as we know it has changed. What has not changed are the acts of chesed that we so often see amongst our wonderful community. Small acts of kindness, often between strangers, have transformational power. Whether it being phoning someone just to check in, helping with shopping or countless other examples. In a time of great uncertainty and discomfort, I am proud the JLC is coordinating and contributing to the many ways our community is striving to alleviate some of the challenges all across our community are facing.”

Mark Morris, Chair of Work Avenue and Trustee of JLC said: “Through no fault of their own many people are facing financial difficulties during this crisis. Whilst the Government has announced measures and packages of support, some will fall through the gaps or face delays in accessing those funds. I am proud that Work Avenue is working with the JLC to provide immediate assistance so that these individuals and their families can cover essential expenses in the coming months.”

David Davidi-Brown, JLC Director of Community Strategy, said: “The cooperation and collective responsibility within communities and across our communal leadership is a much needed uplifting response to this terrible virus – and it is ensuring we can deliver quicker and increased support. We have seen this with the Jewish Homes Emergency Appeal, in our ongoing work to support the wider Jewish Social Care sector continue delivering vital services, and with this fund coming together to offer immediate assistance to families.”

Debbie Sheldon, CEO of Work Avenue, said: “My team have been working tirelessly to ensure that immediately after Pesach this fund is open to everyone within the community. Our staff and volunteers have the compassion, expertise and experience to support people and review financial applications sensitively, confidentially and swiftly to get funds to those who need them most. Beyond this initial period of immediate assistance, Work Avenue is here to support people restart and grow their businesses or re-enter employment.”