Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation has awarded Letchworth Educational Settlement £15,000 from its grant programme, which was set up to support Letchworth based charities and groups affected by the impact of the pandemic.
Last July, the Settlement faced closure as it marked its centenary. But supporters moved quickly to raise money through crowdfunding, a new board of trustees was appointed, and further grant money was secured from the government which helped move courses online.
Hilary Kemp, Chairperson at the Settlement said: “2020 went from being a year of celebration of the Settlement's centenary, to concern for our survival. It is only been through generous grants such as the £15,000 from the foundation that we've been able to operate in these difficult circumstances and plan ahead. The grant has given us the ability to cover some of our running costs (which soon add up in a historic building), whilst trying out new online courses, talks and concerts. It has helped us to continue offering a valued service by bringing our members and other people in the local community together in a COVID-safe way despite the frequently changing status of the pandemic.”
The grant will help the organisation manage its longer-term plans following one of the most challenging years in its 100-year history due to the pandemic.
Alastair Stewart, Head of Charitable Projects and Partnerships, at the foundation said: “This has been a very challenging time for many volunteer-led organisations and charities, including The Settlement. They have had to adapt to a variety of demands due to the pandemic. In response to this, we adapted our grants programme to help local groups and charities continue to support our community over the coming months. This grant will help the Settlement overcome some of the challenges they are facing to secure the future of this much-loved education centre for future generations.”