Berkshire Charities Receive Royal Recognition for Covid-19 Response

Berkshire Charities Receive Royal Recognition

Berkshire Charities Receive Royal Recognition for Covid-19 Response


Local charity representatives met with Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during event to mark culmination of the Royal Train Tour

Local charities were invited to a Royal reception event at Windsor Castle earlier this week in recognition of the contributions they have made to their communities in Berkshire during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Representatives from four of the charities met with Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, during the event which marked the culmination of their two-day Royal Train Tour of the UK. Starting in Edinburgh and finishing in Windsor, the Tour paid tribute to the inspiring work of individuals, organisations and initiatives across the country that have gone above and beyond to support their local communities this year.


All four charities had been awarded grants by Berkshire Community Foundation from the National Emergencies Trust’s (NET) Coronavirus Appeal in recent months, enabling them to step up their support for local people in urgent need. His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge is Royal Patron of the National Emergencies Trust.


Datchet Corona Volunteers (DCV), a group set up to help vulnerable people in Datchet cope with the COVID-19 outbreak, received a National Emergencies Trust (NET) grant of £4,250 to support its provision of mental health services for local residents. Deborah Buckley, who co-founded DCV in March with her husband David, said: “I was thrilled to be invited to represent The Datchet Corona Volunteers at Windsor Castle on Tuesday evening, as part of The Royal ‘Thank you’ tour of the UK. It was wonderful to learn that both The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Earl and Countess of Wessex were fully informed about the work of the 150 or so volunteers who continue to support the community of Datchet.


“They were interested to know how the group was initially formed so quickly, what challenges were faced and how it would evolve going forwards.  We want to thank the Berkshire Community Foundation for their generous donation, which will enable the work of the volunteers to continue throughout the pandemic and beyond.”


Reading-based charities Parenting Special Children and Launchpad, as well as Maidenhead-based Thames Hospice, also met with Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the event.


Since the start of the pandemic, more than £900,000 in funding from the NET’s Coronavirus Appeal has been made available to local charities and grassroots groups through the Berkshire Community Foundation (BCF), a charity that fundraises through philanthropic and business outreach in order to make much-needed grants to charities and groups providing vital services in Berkshire.


Since March, the foundation’s Vital for Berkshire Coronavirus Fund has been pulling support together from across the county and targeting it to the small charities and voluntary groups working at the sharp end of the crisis.  To-date a total of 200 different charities and community groups have been supported with funding of over £2.2 million for separate 300 projects. Seventy-five percent of the grants have targeted the effects of isolation, improving access to local services and advancing people’s physical and mental health and well-being.  

“2020 has been a year like no other for all of us but we have been overwhelmed by the acts of compassion, empathy and generosity shown by our supporters. Working in partnership with the National Emergencies Trust (NET) has enabled us to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of the most vulnerable across Berkshire. 

“We are delighted that four of the groups who have been supported and received grants from the NET via BCF were given the opportunity to attend the event in Windsor Castle and meet Their Royal Highnesses, to give them first-hand accounts of the significant contribution made to their beneficiaries throughout the pandemic.  We are very grateful for the support we have received from the NET.”

Gerry Lejeune OBE

CEO of Berkshire Community Foundation

“Charities and groups in Berkshire have been incredibly quick to respond to the need they have seen on their doorsteps. Grants as small as £250 and as large as £10,000 have supported more than 132 NET-funded projects in the region to-date.

 “Behind every one of these projects, hundreds of local volunteers have put others before themselves in what has been an incredibly difficult year, and many more will do so through the festive period. We’re so pleased that local charities received recognition for all their hard work from The Royal Family, including from our Royal Patron His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge.”

Mhairi Sharp

CEO of the National Emergencies Trust

Research by YouGov for the National Emergencies Trust shows that one in 10 people intend to volunteer their time over the festive period this year, with more than one in four (28%) saying they are motivated to help those whose lives have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.