St Agnes Parish has a thriving business community that supports not only their local residents, but also a busy trade in tourism year-round. The Bolster Fund was set up to support those businesses, their staff and members of the community in need during the COVID-19 crisis. It is now continuing to support the community as many face rising heating and living costs.
The Bolster Hardship Fund
As with many areas so dependent on tourism, many parish businesses have been hit hard by the lock downs, travel restrictions and now rising costs. We have a fantastic local community who have supported businesses in every way that they can during this time, whether it’s buying local, ordering takeaways or committing to support, but the knock on effect of the lock down will be felt by many members of the community for many months to come.
We are all facing difficulties at this current time but what keeps coming up time and time again is that once this has passed, how do we move forward? The reason that we love living in this area is the vibrancy – the businesses, the places to eat, the events throughout the year, popping into the pub for a drink with some friendly faces. This is also why people visit the parish year after year, and why tourism is such a big industry. And this is why we need to support it now.
Businesses use the summer months in Cornwall to support themselves, their staff and those dependent on them for work (such as musicians and cleaning staff) through the winter months – this year we have seen lock down just before the Easter holidays and with the likelihood that many pubs, cafes, restaurants, outdoor recreation and hotels will not be able to open as they normally would over this summer, many will struggle financially.
This is where we would like to help. The St Agnes Chamber of Commerce have long supported the local business community and we therefore felt that setting up a Hardship Fund to benefit not only businesses but also their staff, might help these members of the community in the short term. We are also looking to work with local agencies on referrals for the support of people within our community who are not working for a local business, but that do need support financially. As we exit the pandemic we recognise that many members of our community are struggling to meet their basic needs in the face of rising heating and loving costs.
Applications will be looked at on a case-by-case basis by representatives from the St Agnes Chamber of Commerce, St Agnes Parish Church, Cornwall County Council and St Agnes Parish Council.
Any amount of money, big or small, will help to support these people. We want the parish of St Agnes to remain not only a wonderful place to live, but also a wonderful place to visit once restrictions on travel are over.
Where does my money go?
100% of donations will be distributed to those in need. Any donation received will be placed into an account held by St Agnes Parish Church and distributed to those in need.
Who is behind the Bolster Hardship Fund?
Started by St Agnes Chamber of Commerce, Kelly Luff-Cooper is the Project Officer for the Chamber, with Fiona Killick covering whilst she on maternity leave. Since beginning the initiative, input has kindly come from Cornwall County Councillor for the Parish, Pete Mitchell, as well as representatives from the St Agnes Parish Church and St Agnes Parish Council.
How can I donate?
We have donation links at the top of this page for the gofundme and the Paypal account via the Chamber of Commerce. If you would rather, we can supply the payment details to go direct to the fund account – please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who can apply?
If you would like to apply, you can download the criteria and application form HERE. We are looking to help individuals who live or work within the Parish with grants of up to £250. We ask that those applying only take what they need so that we are able to help as many people as possible.