Job support charity's Covid crisis fund helps 235 struggling households

Work Avenue/JLC appeal raises £420k for distribution to cabbies, actors, personal trainers, hospitality industry workers and others impacted by the pandemic


Londoner Jonathan, 38, started 2020 full of hope and expectation. He was the chief operating officer of two cyber security start-ups with major universities as clients and he and his wife were expecting their first child.

But by the time their baby was two-months-old, the couple had both lost their incomes and were struggling even to afford nappies.

Jonathan was one of 235 recipients of financial support from the emergency fund launched in April by Work Avenue and the Jewish Leadership Council to help Jews impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

Just under £420,000 has been distributed to struggling families in 72 UK postcodes.

The maximum was £2,500 per household.

Beneficiaries included taxi drivers, actors, therapists, property agents, personal trainers and many working in the hospitality and events industry. All had fallen through the cracks in government support schemes.

They range in age from 20 to 74 with almost three-quarters under 50. Close to half the applicants were self-employed.

Jonathan said the support from the fund, “along with advice from Work Avenue and the Paperweight Trust, has given us the cushion we need to get through the next few months.

“Having a baby is the happiest time. But it has also been the most stressful because of these financial worries.

“The money is not a lot. But it is a lot to us.”

Work Avenue CEO Debbie Sheldon said: “The situations people found themselves in through no fault of their own were heartbreaking and it was an honour to be able to help them through the the generosity of our donors.

“Clients are now able to make use of this time by arranging free one-to-one appointments with our advisers to help them on their employment or business journey.”

JLC director of development and strategy David Davidi-Brown added: “It has been a privilege for the JLC to be part of helping so many households facing abrupt financial difficulties during the pandemic.

“This has proved how our Jewish community continues to co-operate and co-ordinate so well, in this case ensuring people from London to Leeds and from Eastbourne to Edinburgh accessed such vital assistance.”



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