Norfolk Community Foundation is delighted to receive generous donations from energy company Equinor, and its partners in Scira Offshore Energy Limited and Dudgeon Offshore Wind Limited, to help local people and communities through the Covid-19 pandemic.

As well as a corporate donation from Equinor, both wind farms have diverted funds from their existing community funds to help support the response.

Through these donations, Equinor and the local Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon windfarms are not only helping to power the community, they are also powering up Norfolk’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic by enabling the county’s charities to provide essential support to those in need.

During the last few months people have been coming together in our communities to tackle the Covid-19 crisis, helping others in need in their neighbourhoods. Through donations to Norfolk Community Foundation’s Covid-19 Community Response Fund, over 300 local groups and charities have received essential funding to do incredible things – helping local people get food and medicine, supporting those who are lonely and anxious, and dealing with the wider impact of the crisis – helping those affected by domestic abuse, supporting people who have lost loved ones, helping those who find themselves homeless to keep safe, and much more.

Among other initiatives, the support from Equinor and its partners is enabling local charity West Norfolk Carers to continue helping unpaid carers of all ages across the area by adapting its usual services. The charity is setting up separate online support groups for carers in different age groups where they can chat and offer each other support, helping to ease loneliness and anxiety during this difficult time. Many carers are looking after a family member who is very vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus and the family is ‘shielding’ – increasing their feelings of isolation. Currently, with many lockdown restrictions still in place, there is little chance of a break from their caring role. The charity is also providing one-to-one support via telephone or online, posting out weekly educational and fun activity packs for young carers, and providing information about healthy eating on a budget and exercise to improve wellbeing. Staff are also continuing to keep in touch with people they help who do not have access to the internet, or who need extra support, to check on their wellbeing. This initiative will make a big difference to over 200 carers in the area.

The Covid-19 crisis has also resulted in many people struggling with the loss of a family member or friend. The donations from Equinor and partners are also helping to support local child bereavement support organisation Nelson’s Journey to provide extra support for children and young people who have lost a loved one. Demand for support is expected to reach record levels by the end of 2020 due to several reasons including the increase in deaths, both directly due to Covid-19 and indirectly due to other health conditions or increased suicide rates. In addition, restrictions around visiting those who are dying, on attending funerals and social distancing means that many children are finding an already extremely traumatic experience even more difficult to cope with, and need extra support. Nelson’s Journey are also finding that many of the children they currently support who had experienced the loss of a loved one prior to the outbreak are struggling with increased anxiety, worrying that other family members or friends will die due to Covid-19. The charity, as well as continuing to offer telephone support and providing information and advice, is also developing one-to-one online support sessions and groups to reduce the sense of isolation that these young people feel, and providing them with coping strategies to help them work through the feelings they are experiencing.

Carol Williams, Asset Manager for Equinor, said:

“Covid-19 has brought unprecedented challenges, and through the Norfolk Community Foundation, hundreds of charities are providing invaluable support for members of our community. We are delighted to be able to support such a worthwhile charity, and thank all those working to support members of our community through these difficult times.”

Claire Cullens, CEO at Norfolk Community Foundation, said:

“Equinor’s very generous donation is really helping to power the local response to the Covid-19 crisis. Such donations from businesses and members of the public are directly enabling local charities to continue their vital work on the frontline, responding immediately and effectively to the growing need we are seeing. Thank you for being part of making something great happen in our communities during these very challenging times.”

How people can make a difference

Norfolk Community Foundation’s Covid-19 appeal still needs donations to help our vital local charities and community groups survive and keep our communities strong. People can donate online quickly and securely via, or alternatively make a cheque payable to Norfolk Community Foundation (referencing Covid-19 Community Response Fund) and send it to Norfolk Community Foundation, St. James Mill, Whitefriars, Norwich, NR3 1TN, or telephone 01603 623958.