The Let’s Be Clear Fund
By Lucy Adam
Campaigns Lead at Barnwood Trust
From the very start of the Let’s Be Clear campaign we knew that we wanted to introduce a fund that not only enabled people and organisations to buy or make clear face masks, but also provided funds to enable organisations to make their communications more accessible.
We launched the Let’s Be Clear campaign at the beginning of October and then the fund not long after, on the 1st December. We decided to make the fund available to voluntary and community sector organisations, and people in the community who wanted to make clear face masks.
At the time of writing this, we have given almost £9,000 to 13 people and organisations across the county.
The majority of the £9,000 has been spent on purchasing clear face masks but some has also been used for making communications more accessible, and also to buy the materials to make masks for the community.
We thought it would be helpful (and hopefully inspiring!) to share who some of the people and organisations are that have applied to the fund, and what they have said about the process and the difference the fund has made…
Sheridan was our first applicant to the Let’s Be Clear fund. As a keen crafter, she was awarded funds to enable her to buy materials to make 20 clear masks. She said:
“I received a lot of positive feedback for these masks and I’ve also started making them in children’s size.…The process was so easy to do when applying – it was clearly explained and easy to follow. I was expecting to wait a while to find the outcome, but I was really surprised when I received notification a day or two after applying. The funding went into my bank account quickly, enabling me to purchase the items I needed. Having such a quick processing time for the application meant that people could benefit from these masks quickly too… I really would like to thank you once again. As well as helping people who need these type of masks, your fund has also helped me with my wellbeing.”
Gloucestershire Breastfeeding Supporters Network was awarded funds to buy 50 clear face masks. They distributed these to their volunteers and the mothers who use their services to ease their communication. They said about applying to the Let’s Be Clear fund:
“Same day acceptance of the bid meant that I could order the clear face masks and they arrived in time for the next weeks groups so enabling us to make an immediate impact…. The most noticeable impact was how much easier it was for the mothers to follow what we were saying. The masks were much more comfortable than I’d expected and look great. Several mothers commented on them and it would be nice if they started to buy them as well. I look forward to offering the masks out around our volunteers. This is brilliant initiative – simple yet with the potential to quietly help such a lot of people.”
Community Connexions applied to the Let’s Be Clear fund so that they could purchase 200 clear face masks. They said:
“The application process was really straightforward and quick. Very good indeed. The response was also very prompt – within a few hours in my case. And the money appeared in our account the next day. The masks have been given out to staff and are being issued to our (vulnerable) customers before they get into our buses or volunteer vehicles.2
A Let’s Be Clear fund application was awarded to The Door to enable them to buy 200 clear face masks for their service users and staff.
“… Many of the people we support find face coverings intimating due to their anxieties, stresses or disabilities. They also find it hard to communicate with workers whose mouths are covered. They also make our workers feel more confident and inclusive.”
Hannah from the Barnwood Team who has been processing the applications has said,
“The application process is proving to be very straightforward; you apply online through the link of the Let’s Be Clear website which takes you through to FlexiGrant. Once you have set up an account, we ask for details of yourself, or your organisation, and why you are applying for the fund, as well as the amount you need and what you plan to purchase. We are available to advise and help with any aspect of this. We’re pleased that we have been able to process the applications so far very quickly with grants being awarded within two weeks of first applying.”
If you would like to apply visit https://www.letsbeclearcampaign.org/lets-be-clear-fund/ to find out more!