Urgent fundraising appeal by charity ‘at the heart’ of Topsham’s coronavirus response

PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 April 2020 | UPDATED: 08:03 16 April 2020

Nancy Potter House. Picture: Estuary League of Friends

Nancy Potter House. Picture: Estuary League of Friends


An urgent fundraising plea has been issued by a charity ‘at the heart’ of Topsham’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

The Estuary League of Friends, which has been coordinating the volunteer effort in Topsham, needs to find £60,000 to continue its ‘essential’ work.

In recent weeks the charity’s staff and volunteers have been helping more than 600 vulnerable residents by delivering groceries, medicines and essential supplies, cooking hot meals and taking people to vital medical appointments.

This is in addition to lifeline home help services which the charity continues to provide daily.

The charity normally relies on income from its community hub at Nancy Potter House and its two charity shops in the town centre which were all forced to close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

A Crowdfunder launched by the charity has so far raised more than £1,400.

“Estuary League of Friends usually receives no regular government or council funding and has always relied on the generosity of donors and being able to provide services at reasonable costs to those in need,” said the charity’s chief executive, Rachel Gilpin.

“So many people are seriously worried for themselves and their families and need the support that we can offer.

“It’s likely that the virus crisis will continue for some months to come, especially impacting the most vulnerable that we are here to help.

“That’s why we’re launching this appeal.”

A video is being posted on social media to explain what the charity does and why it deserves support.

A donation of £12 could provide a hot lunch for an elderly couple self-isolating at home; giving £25 could keep the charity’s minibus on the road for a day to transport local people with chronic health conditions to and from urgent medical appointments; while £100 could feed a family of four for a week.

Mrs Gilpin added: “Please give whatever you can, either as a donation or doing some safe fund-raising while staying at home during the lockdown.

“We need your help, and we need it urgently. Thank you.”

Visit the Estuary League of Friends Crowdfunder website to donate.

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