Aspire's Response to COVID-19: April 2020 Update Thank you for your support! Our Emergency Appeal has received an incredible response, with a remarkable £51,000 donated so far. We are so grateful to everyone who has made such generous donations. Your kindness has enabled Aspire to step up and ensure we can be there for the people who need us most during the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only have we helped secure emergency accommodation, provided clothing, food parcels and medication, prevented evictions, supported vulnerable people to access Universal Credit and ensured people are digitally connected while self-isolating - we’ve also been able to continue all of our critical support services. From homelessness prevention support, to employment development and personalised 1:1 guidance for prison leavers and people experiencing homelessness, we are determined to continue to be there despite the disruption, sustaining individual safety, security and progress for as long as we are needed. “The internet access Aspire has provided means my goal of starting full-time adult education in September is still achievable, as I have no Wi-Fi. I would normally use the library to complete coursework, and this was no longer an option. This is just one of the many ways that Aspire has supported me throughout my recovery. It’s not just the internet, it’s the understanding, care, commitment and dedication, believing in and reminding me that my dreams are still achievable”. Maria, Aspire 'Get Connected' Beneficiary The biggest challenges are yet to come We are also looking towards the future and considering the effects of the pandemic today on our work for tomorrow. Sadly, many more vulnerable young people and adults will find themselves unemployed, homeless or precariously housed, or at risk of relapse into substance misuse or re-offending, when the economic impact of this pandemic truly hits home. We need to ensure Aspire’s ongoing resilience and accessibility, so that we can step up again to meet the anticipated surge in demand for access to secure housing and critical personal and employment development support in the months to come. This is why we need your help now more than ever before. Like many charities across the country, the pandemic has had catastrophic effects for Aspire. With loss to critical income through cancelled fundraising events and curtailed trading, we anticipate a reduction of up to £300,000 from our budgeted income. Yet our services continue, at a time when vulnerable members in our local community need us most - and when we know we need to increase our efforts further. Be a ‘Home Hero’ for Aspire - tackle the #TwoPointSixChallenge Thousands of events - such as the Virgin Money London Marathon, the world's largest one-day fundraising fixture - have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a significant and detrimental impact on charities across the country. Many will not survive the next few months, and are having to reduce to completely stop the services they provide, when vulnerable members of society need them most. On 26th April 2020 - the intended day of the London Marathon - we will instead see the start of the 2.6 Challenge, a nationwide fundraising campaign from this date to support organisations like Aspire who will need more support than ever before over in the months ahead. From running around your garden for 2.6 miles, to hosting a virtual workout online with 26 willing friends - there are so many ways to get creative, get active, and have fun - pledging whatever you can or fundraising for your challenge to support Aspire. Are you ready to be a ‘home hero’ for Aspire? Get involved in the 2.6 Challenge today! Choose your task, share what you’re up to, and donate or fundraise to support the continuation of our crucial support services - and ensure we can be there for those who need us! The obstacles vulnerable young people and adults face will not relent when the current phase of this crisis subsides - and neither will we. Thank you for your support, generosity and encouragement. To access Aspire's COVID-19 temporary accommodation support needs assessment and development options, please follow this link.