Bryan Clover, Chief Executive Officer of the Rainy Day Trust reflects on the challenges posed by the Covid-19 through 2020.
Without a doubt, last year was the toughest that I have encountered in 20 years in the charity sector. Income dropped like a stone from March onwards and demand for our services hit new highs; a financial tension that was plain for all to see.
But the problems caused by the virus also generated positives. We found new ways to fundraise and a number of businesses pulled out all of the proverbial stops to help us. Special thanks go to Stax Trade Centres, NBG and Centurion Europe who helped us out of a very deep hole. Across all of the sectors that we support, when the chips were down, we pulled together and survived.
In 2020, thousands of charities went under and thousands more are likely to fail in the coming months. Through sheer grit and hard work, we won't be one of them. We learnt how to make the most of what we have. We learnt how to strip out every single non-essential penny, and how to help applicants without it costing us the earth.
We developed a new C19 support programme that could provide immediate help, and by immediate, I mean that we got the first grant into bank accounts the same day. We backed this up with help understanding and searching out welfare benefits to which people are entitled, and worked up a mental health support project too. Delivering telephone counselling proved to be the perfect way of reducing stress and anxiety under Covid-safe conditions.
We managed to get the word out to even more businesses that we are here to help. Here to help them work through the uncertainty and survive the storm. We learnt that even people that thought that their jobs were safe carry stress and strain from their problems at home; we helped them work through it and emerge stronger on the other side.
The Charity adapted its mode of operation straight away once the virus started to make working from home the norm. That in turn cut our utility bill costs and allowed us to push more money to where it was so desperately needed.
What this all added up to is that we have a refocussed charity, lean and efficient and ready for whatever C19, Brexit or poor weather chooses to throw at us during 2021. We now help 10 times the number of people each year that we used to help just a few short years ago.
Wishing you all a healthy, safe and prosperous New Year, and thank you for the support that you have given us during 2020.
If you need us, we are here. If you don't, we need you.
Covid-19 is hitting charities hard. We need your help so that we can provide the assistance that people so desperately need. Please support our Covid-19 Emergency Appeal here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rdtcovid19
About the Rainy Day Trust
The Rainy Day Trust is the only charity which exists solely to help people who have worked in the UK’s home improvement and enhancement industry.
There are a number of ways we can help, whether you currently work or worked within any of the following industries. We’re here, because you can’t always do it yourself…
We help those (and the partners of) people who have worked in the manufacture, wholesale, retail & distribution of builders’ merchants, DIY, hardware, potteries and glass, housewares and garden centres. We also help professional tradesmen such as plumbers, carpenters, electricians and so on as well as their apprentices or trainees.