Dhruv Patel: Mental health and youth support top priorities for recovery funding

Tackling mental health problems and supporting young people have emerged as key areas of demand for coronavirus support funding, according to City Bridge Trust chairman Dhruv Patel.

The head of the funding body says that the focus of its emergency funding to help charities tackle the pandemic had been providing essentials such as food supplies and shelter for homeless people.

“Now, there’s more demand from vulnerable groups, people with mental health problems and young
people,” reveals Patel in an exclusive interview with Charity Times.

Since the trust launched its emergency funding the capital wide London Community Response there has been more than 3,800 applications, with reqursts totaling more than £71m.

In his interview he details the difference the funding is making to charities and offers his top tips for applying to the trust.

A focus on governance is among key factors charities seeking funds need to prioritise as well as ensuring they carefully read guidelines.

His interview also focuses on ways the charity sector can support the resilience of communities, especially as "London is a very unequal city, where extremes of wealth and poverty exist side by side,"he says.

He added: “Resilience is a word that’s more pertinent now than ever. Many organisations we support focus on giving people the tools and support they need to cope with the challenges life throws their way.”

Equality

Another priority of the trust is to promote equaity and inclusivity, having handed £5m to projects to promote diversity over the last five years.

"As someone from a BAME background, it’s something that’s really important to me and the Black Lives Matter protests have shown there is still much to be done to tackle racism and unfairness in society,” he added.

Elsewhere, his interview looks at the financial impact of the pandemic and the financial challenges ahead for the charity sector.

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