This week marks the first week of play at Wimbledon.
Though The Championships did not take place last year due to Covid-19, the work of the Wimbledon Foundation, a longstanding partner of LCF and the charity of The All England Lawn Tennis Club and The Championships, and the local charities they support continued to be hubs of activity.
Rather than launching their Wimbledon Community Fund last year, the Wimbledon Foundation worked with LCF to ensure grants could be awarded quickly to small charities and voluntary groups responding to the needs of the communities in Merton and Wandsworth they served during the pandemic through the London Community Response.
A total of £464,781 was allocated to 55 projects over the past year, more than double the amount the Wimbledon Foundation normally awards annually through their Community Fund. Many organisations adapted their services to ensure they could support those most severely affected during lockdowns, such as providing emergency food parcels, information and advice, and mental health support and wellbeing activities for people of all ages who were isolated, anxious and lonely. Groups also provided a combination of online and in-person leisure and educational activities as the level of restrictions changed. In the most recent phase of funding, there have been several employability and mentoring programmes seeking to address the impact of Covid on people’s livelihoods.
The speed and adaptability of the Wimbledon Foundation funding made a huge difference in our ability to react quickly to the changing needs of the communities. Many were, and are currently, severely impacted by COVID and have few support mechanisms available to them.Michael, Chair of Trustees, Rackets Cubed
Funding like this has enabled us to increase the size of the food parcels we provide. Each delivery is now a seven-day supply of food. We have been able to purchase new equipment to facilitate our new centralised delivery model and increase the capacity of our team – both things we wouldn’t have been able to do without kind donations like yours.Dan, Wandsworth Foodbank
This year, the Wimbledon Foundation wants to celebrate the people who have made a difference during the last year which is why the campaign for this year’s Championships is called ‘Thank Your Champion’. To get involved, they are inviting people to download their trophy poster and display it in their window, or on social media, to thank someone who has been a champion to them during the pandemic. Make sure to use the hashtag #ThankYourChampion and tag @WimbledonFdn.