COMMUNITY SPIRIT: NORFOLK COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

The inspiring local businesses giving back to their communities
Since the COVID-19 crisis began Norfolk Community Foundation has been astounded by the power of the local community in coming together to support its neighbours..

Published in Norfolk Director Magazine Summer/Autumn 2020

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Community Spirit 

People across the county have been stepping up to do amazing things in a variety of ways with Norfolk’s local businesses making their own contributions to help support those in need. 

As a registered charity Norfolk Community Foundation is dedicated to building stronger communities and improving the lives of people in Norfolk. The charity connects people who care with local causes that matter, helping ordinary people do extraordinary things that make local communities thrive and improve the lives of people who live there. 

In March, Norfolk Community Foundation established the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to support local charities working hard on the ground to keep vulnerable people safe and well. All money raised has been put to work rapidly, supporting vital local charities and community groups helping people in the county’s neighbourhoods through the crisis. 

Here’s a couple of stories of the amazing businesses helping to raise funds for this vital cause.

Productivity Planner 

Local businessman Floyd Sayers of Flomotion Studio, which specialises in sit-stand desks, decided to put his creativity to use and produce a desk planner to help boost the productivity of many people now thrown for the first time into the challenge of working remotely from corners of their own homes during lockdown. 

Originally designed for internal use, Floyd decided to share the planner as a PDF on LinkedIn so that it could be used by anyone. After a positive response, Floyd then decided to redesign the planner and make it available to purchase with all the profit going to Norfolk Community Foundation. 

Peter Bussey of Abacus Accountancy lent his support to Floyd’s efforts, generously paying for the first print run of the productivity planner which helped enable Floyd to fast track the whole project and get it going, showing the power of businesses coming together to get behind their local community. Peter said: “As a busy accountant that has always worked with to do lists and generally made notes on scraps of paper, when I heard of the planner and Floyd’s plans to help Norfolk Community Foundation, I felt it was worthwhile to assist in funding its production.” 

The productivity planner has helped workers establish some structure and direction during an uncertain and challenging time at both home and work. It has also helped, through proceeds from sales of the planner, local charities support the most vulnerable during this crisis 

Floyd said: “So many charities were, and still are, suffering considerable hardship. I’m delighted I could do my little bit and give something back, making the best use of all the extra time I now had. If this A3 desk productivity planner can make you use your precious time better, become more organised, more focused, procrastinate less and get important stuff done and raise some money for charity at the same time, then I’ve achieved my goal.” 

Copies of the productivity planner can still be purchased online at: https://ncf-desk-planner.myshopify.com/.

COMMUNITY SPIRIT: NORFOLK COMMUNITY FOUNDATION 1

Virtual Fundraising Yoga Session 

Michael and Camilla Balshaw are owners of the Norfolk Yoga Centre. They were keen to make a difference and help support people in Norfolk during the COVID-19 crisis. They managed to adapt their business during these times of social distancing, to offer regular virtual yoga classes in people’s homes. The result speaks for itself. Not only has there been a great community spirit and camaraderie generated among people taking part, but for people who attended their classes pre-lockdown, it has helped to provide some regularity in this uncertain world. 

Michael and Camilla raised over £300 running a virtual yoga session on the morning of Sunday 26th April where, together with participants, they enjoyed the challenge of practising 50 sun salutations. Michael and Camilla said: “We practice together, we count together, breathe together and experience being together.”

How the covid-19 community response fund has made a difference

Through donations from both individuals and businesses to Norfolk Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund, over £1million has been distributed to over 320 local groups and charities to do incredible things – helping local people get food and medicine, supporting those who are lonely and anxious, and dealing with the wider impact of the crisis – helping those affected by domestic abuse, supporting people who have lost loved ones, helping those who find themselves homeless to keep safe, and much more. Some of the fantastic initiatives that have been supported include: 

Oak Grove Community Church in Norwich, who have been able to provide bags of home essentials, food and crafts, and get them delivered to support some of the families in greatest need during the lockdown. 

About with Friends in Cromer, who have provided ‘care packages’ and live-stream entertainment to adults with autism and learning disabilities who are affected by the lockdown. 

Nelson’s Journey in Little Plumstead, a local child bereavement support organisation, to deliver extra support for children and young people who have lost a loved one. 

How businesses can help others in their community 

After reading these amazing stories, if local businesses are inspired to get involved and set up a fundraising initiative of their own, or would like to make a donation to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund, please get in touch with Norfolk Community Foundation on T: 01603 623958 or E: shinebrighter@norfolkfoundation.com , or visit norfolkfoundation.com 

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For more information about the Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund visit: norfolkfoundation.com/ giving-philanthropy/covid19communityresponsefund/ Twitter: @NorfolkCommuni1

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