Twelve charitable organisations have received a ‘helping hand’ from Ulster Bank to try and alleviate pressures brought about by the current cost of living challenges.
Foodbanks, heating hubs and other care providers have each been given a share of Ulster Bank’s £100,000 Helping Hands Fund so that they can continue to offer the services and support many communities are relying on in these times.
Ulster Bank colleagues were invited to nominate charities and organisations from their local areas for the grants and after a lengthy selection process, 12 were selected and awarded funds.
The groups include St. Vincent de Paul, Belfast-based The Peoples’ Kitchen, The Pantry foodbank in Fermanagh, The Jam Foodbank in Randalstown, as well as Age NI, Advice NI and The Salvation Army.
Along with receiving a cash boost, the groups will also receive volunteer support as Ulster Bank colleagues have committed to taking a hands-on approach to supporting the charities, fostering closer links with the organisations and the communities in which they serve.
Terry Robb, Head of Personal Banking with Ulster Bank, said it was important to partner with organisations who are providing direct, targeted support to individuals, families and communities who needed it most.
“The continued rise in the cost of living is having a hard-felt impact on people, families and businesses throughout Northern Ireland, and as more and more people turn to charities and community organisations for support, it is important that these groups are in a position to offer the level of support that is needed.
“As a business whose purpose it is to help families and communities to thrive, we are proud to partner with these 12 brilliant organisations and provide them with the tools and resources needed so that they can continue to provide this level of support and target it where it is most needed.
“We are especially pleased that so many of our colleagues have volunteered to spend time with these groups and charities and are proud to offer a full package of support measures to try and alleviate some of the pressures being felt.
“It’s been fantastic working with each of the 12 organisations so far and we look forward to seeing the full extent of the impact they will make within their local communities through the Helping Hands fund.”
One of the recipients who travelled to Ulster Bank’s Donegall Square East Headquarters for a grant presentation was Mary Waide, Regional President of St Vincent de Paul. At the event, Mary explained how the cost of living crisis was affecting the organisation and how this funding boost would be put to use.
“Last year St Vincent de Paul (SVP) spent £3.5m on direct support for those in towns, cities and villages across the region faced with impossible choices during this cost of living crisis. Those impossible choices vary throughout the year and can range from whether to buy the school uniform or put food on the table, buy the Sunday dinner or top up the metre to heat the home.
“SVP depends on the generosity of corporate and individual donations and welcomes this very generous donation from Ulster Bank. The funds donated will enable us to continue to support the 2,500 plus families who approach the Society for help on a monthly basis. With one in 14 people living with food insecurity and one in four children living in poverty, SVP ensures that by providing a holistic approach, those families who face impossible choices get the help they need.”
Ulster Bank will continue to monitor the impact of financial challenges closely and as always, advises anyone facing financial difficulties to speak with their lenders to learn more about the type of support on offer.
To learn more about the fund and other support measures available, visit www.ulsterbank.co.uk