The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the Hong Kong community as never before. Since mid-February, the Club has launched a range of initiatives to support the community in tackling the impact of COVID-19, providing essential services to the most vulnerable members of society.
The Club announced recently the establishment of a new HK$150 million Community Sustainability Fund. The Fund will provide grants to small-to-medium size community service agencies and sports organisations to design and deliver services targeting the physical and mental well-being of underprivileged and vulnerable groups impacted by COVID-19. In doing so the Club also hopes to support the diversity and vitality of the community service ecosystem.
Funding will be available for between six and nine months. Application period of the Community Sustainability Fund is between 8 May 2020 and 15 July 2020. The Club’s Charities Trust welcomes applications from any of the eligible organisations detailed below whose annual operating expenses in the 2018/19 financial year were below HK$50 million and whose total financial reserves are lower than one year of their expenses.
Eligible organisations are non-subvented community service agencies which are either current or past grantees of the Club’s Charities Trust and have Inland Revenue Department Section 88 status; non-subvented members of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service with Inland Revenue Department Section 88 status; sports organisations which are either current or past grantees of the Club’s Charities Trust; and National Sports Associations.
In addition to the above, the Fund will support Social Career Limited, a non-profit technology organisation, to develop an online platform “Jockey Club Community Channel” to share resources developed under Club-supported COVID-19 initiatives. Other NGOs and educational institutes will be invited to publish learning materials, health-related information and virtual arts and culture experiences. The platform, which will run for three years, is intended to serve as a useful resource hub even after the pandemic subsides.
Since mid-February, the Club has funded the distribution of care packs containing essential food and hygiene supplies to the homebound elderly, disabled and low-income groups. It has supported the provision of free mobile internet data bandwidth to 100,000 underprivileged students, facilitating their online learning. And it has sourced or funded the purchase of more than 14 million face masks, including 1.68 million masks donated to the Hospital Authority and to vulnerable groups.
The Club also set up a HK$100 million COVID-19 Emergency Fund to provide fast-track grants to NGOs providing essential services to those hard-hit by the crisis, including low-income families, the elderly and other vulnerable groups. To date, more than 200 organisations have received grants to implement over 220 projects.