We collect generous donations from the community and place them into a centralised fund and we then redistribute that money, providing those most in-need within the community with a grant to help them cope. 100% of donations go direct to our beneficiaries; all overheads are covered by the Chairperson.
We provide small grants (capped at £30) to those in our community who are suffering immediate hardship. Our grants are intended to be paid within 24hrs of making contact and are intended to 'tide people over' for a few days until other, more-established support or welfare schemes can come into effect
The NHF is made up entirely of volunteers from the Northampton community who will consider and approve each application. To be eligible for a grant, you need to be a Northampton resident (reside at an address with an "NN" postcode), provide some form of valid identification and be facing immediate financial hardship. We aren't able to provide long-term financial support.
While watching some of the local COVID-19 support groups on Facebook, I noticed there were a lot of people willing to donate small amounts of money to those people in the community who had asked for assistance. However, it relied on individuals to receive and distribute that money, which is time-consuming and inefficient. It also excludes those who may feel embarrassed about asking for help in such a public forum. The Hardship Fund aims to centralise these efforts, directing people to a single resource, so we can get help to as many people as possible, while being fully transparent to the community
I have been asked (criticised, even) a number of times over why I don't simply donate the money to other local groups doing something similar. The answer, for me, is simple; speed of response. Many of the other support schemes and groups in existence are slow to respond and release funds, which doesn't help those facing imminent hardship. By removing unnecessary bureaucracy, my vision is to get small amounts of money to people to provide short-term financial relief, and to do it quickly. Whenever practical, I aim to get grants to people within 24 hours of them making contact with us.
We all sadly accept that, where there is generosity, there will also be fraud. However, many support schemes employ certain measures to prevent fraud that slows the entire process down, leaving it unsuitable for people experiencing imminent hardship. Our process puts compassion above suspicion; we will treat everyone as legitimate unless we have a reason to suspect otherwise. Our aim to distribute many small donations also means that the value of the donations we make are comparatively small and the effort required to defraud us is often not economically worthwhile for a fraudster
Although the founders have donated their own funds to start this initiative, we do rely on donations from generous members of the public to ensure we can continue to provide emergency grants to the most in-need members of society. Please donate whatever you can, no matter how big or small. Every little bit helps.