HFT Leicestershire has received a share of £16,000 in funding from Central England Co-op Community Dividend Fund aimed at providing quick funding boosts to help those impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak.

The national charity for adults with learning disabilities will use the funding to buy an outdoor gazebo so groups can meet in a socially-distanced manner

A spokesman from HFT said: “Over the past few months, the 35 people with learning disabilities who we support to live in their own homes in Leicestershire have been faced with huge changes to their daily routines and support networks. While we’ve been able to use technology to support people to stay in touch with their family and friends, they are understandably still missing regular face-to-face communication with their loved ones. Thanks to Central England Co-operative’s Community Dividend Fund, we’ll now be able to purchase a wooden gazebo where people can enjoy spending quality time with their nearest and dearest in a safe and sheltered environment outside their homes, once current lockdown restrictions are lifted. As the pandemic continues and many continue to shield through the upcoming festive period, we’re looking forward to introducing this vital new space for people we support to meet with their family and friends. We’re so grateful for this wonderful donation, which will make a huge difference to people with learning disabilities and their families during these difficult times.”

Normally, grants from the fund are handed out four times a year to a wide range of organisations but, during the coming months, it has been decided to hand grants out on a monthly basis to support those suffering financial hardship due to the pandemic and others looking to step in to help those affected.

Jim Watts, Society Secretary, said:“Community Dividend Fund grants showcase how by being a member and shopping at your local Central England Co-op store allows us as a Society to continue to invest and fund vital projects in the area – especially during uncertain times like these.

To apply, members will need: name, address, membership number, organisation type, organisation bank account or constitution and to explain what the group does, how the grant will be spent and the specific impact it will have related to COVID-19.

People can find out the full criteria and how to apply for funding by visiting

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