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St Ives Mayor, Tony Harris, as trustee of the William Chard Charity Trust, has announced grant awards to local voluntary groups which seek to help people in financial hardship.

The charity, which was established in 1944, has two trustees: the Mayor of St Ives, and the vicar of St John’s in the Field church, currently Rev Nick Widdows.

Cllr Harris said: “This charitable trust is crucial in helping to support local good causes, as well as making individual grants to townsfolk who are in need.

“This week, we are delighted to announce that we are awarding grants of £6,000 to local good causes, including to the St Ives/Carbis Bay Foodbank, and the St Ives Community Fund.”

St Ives Foodbank was established in 2012, by local churches working together. It aims to assist local residents in need of food and assistance to get through financially challenging circumstances, particularly those out of work, without benefits, and in
temporary accommodation.

St Ives Community Fund was set up in 2016 to provide rapid financial support to individuals and families who find themselves in need, as well as supporting and initiating community projects in the town.

Rev Widdows said: “These grant awards could not have come at a better time. I encourage those in need to please make use of the support available, made possible by grants like this and the generosity of many others.

“These are unprecedented times and we all need to help each other in every way we can, but we must also not be ashamed to ask for help when we need it.”

Chris Wallis, chairman of St Ives Foodbank, said: “We are, of course, delighted with this grant award, which has come at a time when donations and supplies are running low and demand is at an all-time high due to the current pandemic. This money will help us to maintain this much-needed service.

“Without the grant made by the trust we would not have been able to meet the demand during the pandemic. We are now serving six times as many households and spending in excess of £400 per week to top up the already generous food donations we receive from the public.”

Colin Nichols, chairman of St Ives Community Fund, added: “We are most grateful to the Chard Trust. Their contribution has enabled us to take a purposeful role at a time when help is really needed. We have had lots of applications for financial help and we make a point of responding rapidly to them. Our fund relies on donations like these and we appreciate all of
the support.”