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The HEY Smile Foundation (HEY), a leading local charity, has secured new support from local health leaders to aid communities to continue to respond to community needs at pace this winter.

The HEY Smile Foundation (Smile) is working with NHS Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to distribute a new set of HIGHFIVER grants, small but vital funding, to support the amazing work of small groups and charities. This will ensure funding is not a barrier for them to connect with the most vulnerable in the communities of Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire. These funds will be made available from 5pm on the 23rd November.

This round of grants expands on the successful HIGHFIVER grants which earlier this year recognised the work of volunteers with a virtual high five’s to volunteers operating in communities. The scheme captured support from local celebrities and even a high five from HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge on national TV as we looked to thank and support volunteers to connect with communities with the grants ensuring finance was not a barrier.

The grants supported over 50 charities in the first round and it’s hoped that this second investment in communities will go even further with a minimum of 100 grants available.

Andrew Barber CEO of Smile said “We wanted to thank volunteers, micro groups and local charities with small and responsive grants alongside giving a virtual High Five for the wonderful work they are delivering. The first round of funding saw the grants used for volunteer expenses, personal protective equipment, refreshments, printing to Zoom licenses to connect beneficiaries that would normally come together face to face.

All these small but growing costs have an impact on the group’s abilities to continue to deliver the outstanding connections in communities in lockdown and in the coming winter challenges.  Vitally we also know that a small grant is only proven to have an impact if the process of accessing the funding is simple and fast paced. The average time of a HIGHFIVER grant being in community bank accounts was 3 days, with many being delivered within 24hrs.”

Nicki Salvidge from Aldborough Parish Council said, “The HIGHFIVER Grant meant we could help those affected, too proud to ask for help, but ones which we knew through local knowledge needed it.  We were very concerned that these people would never ask for a handout and that these people where to ones who needed the most help, thanks to the HIGHFIVER we have managed to offer food packages to those.

All the grants are made through Smile’s Beecan system www.beecan.org which in its first 9 months of operation has supported the delivery in the region of £200,000 in grants to charities and groups in Hull and across the East Riding of Yorkshire. The system supports local charities and groups to access advice, guidance and professional support alongside grants.

Claire Raper founder of Bundles of Joy in Beverley said “I have found Beecan to be a great source of crucial information on funding and also support for Bundles of Joy by enabling me to access important resources all in one place. Beecan also allows me to read about other wonderful charities and see what’s going on in our community.

The team at Smile and local funders are actively encouraging charities and groups across Hull and East Yorkshire to register on the system if not already to view the support available at this current time and be able to maximise the High Fiver grants.

Accountable Officer at NHS Hull CCG and Acting Accountable Officer at NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG, Emma Latimer said “People on the ground within the communities across Hull and East Riding know the challenges and opportunities within their local area.

“Through the ongoing COVID response, organised groups of volunteers and our wonderful long-standing charitable organisations, have shown exceptional creativity and compassion to address the immediacy of local need.

“Keeping people connected and stimulating healthy conversations will remain vital as we go through the second wave and face further winter pressures.

“We want to ensure through these grants that finance is not a barrier to delivery or enhance these activities and are delighted to be working with Smile and the Beecan system to offer fast response in funding.  I, and all of my colleagues within the NHS are incredibly grateful for all of your efforts within communities.”

For more information or to register for Beecan and access these grants, and all available funding visit www.heysmilefoundation.org.

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