HELPING VICTIM SUPPORT ISLE OF MAN TO AID ISLANDERS AMID COVID-19
Victim Support Isle of Man is a charity set up over twenty years ago, offering free, independent and confidential help to victims and witnesses of crime, their family and friends. This includes adults, children and young people affected by all crime, i.e. assault, harassment, domestic and sexual violence, and abuse. They also provide support to those affected by serious injury/death in road traffic collisions, unexplained deaths and suicide.
During the first Covid-19 lockdown on the Island, Victim Support saw a sharp surge in referrals and contacts, leading to increased strain on its services. From June to September 2020, referrals increased by 85% and contacts by 91% compared to the three months prior, whilst domestic abuse cases were up by 72% compared to the same period in 2019.
As the Island entered its third lockdown in 2021, Victim Support faced even more pressure on its vital services as the psychological impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic continued to escalate.
Victim Support Isle of Man successfully applied for a grant from the Manx Solidarity Fund which will enable it to continue to provide its free service to victims and witnesses of crime on the Island.
Thanks to the Manx Solidarity Fund, we can continue to provide our free service to victims at such a critical time. The pandemic has had a significant impact on our operations, with referrals increasing rapidly and victims requiring ongoing support. We are grateful that the Manx Solidarity Fund is here to help our community as we weather this turbulent period.
- Kerry Gascoyne, Fundraiser, Victim Support, Isle of Man
HELPING MANX BREAST CANCER SUPPORT PATIENTS
The Manx Breast Cancer Support Group is a charity that works to improve the Island’s breast care service through improved diagnostics, treatment and patient experience. In recent years it has successfully fundraised to provide the Island with a new state-of-the-art Breast Cancer Unit with the latest and most advanced advanced cancer equipment.
Patients going through chemotherapy or immunotherapy often live in total isolation except when they leave their homes to undergo treatment and tests. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck the Island, the Manx Breast Cancer Support Group worked with doctors and patients to identify how these vulnerable individuals were being impacted.
For patients undergoing treatment and their families, this already stressful experience was being worsened by the risk of contracting Covid-19 when travelling to surgeries, Noble’s Hospital and across to England. These patients travelling via plane were also facing a lack of food options after their appointments.
The Manx Breast Cancer Support Group successfully applied for a grant from the Manx Solidarity Fund to fund the purchase of face masks, food containers, hand sanitiser and sanitising wipes. The chosen masks add a level of protection from Covid-19 for these vulnerable patients, whilst the sanitising items allow surfaces to be cleansed on their travels to treatment - such as wheelchairs, plane armrests and steering wheels. The food containers provide patients with the ability to bring their own food with them for after treatment. Armed with these items, patients were able to feel safer when leaving isolation.
We are grateful for the Manx Solidarity Fund’s contribution to aid cancer patients on the Island. This grant has allowed us to purchase equipment that mitigates the risks presented by Covid-19 to vulnerable people undergoing cancer treatment. We are so thankful for this support.
- Carole Male, Vice Chairman, Manx Breast Cancer Support Group
PPE FOR A BEAUTY SALON
This Manx beauty salon faced a crisis when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the Island. With non-essential shops closed, the salon had no cash flow at a time when bills were due. And to eventually re-open, the salon needed to invest in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep its staff and clientele safe.
Despite downsizing to help with its overheads, the salon was struggling to finish equipping the salon with all the PPE and systems it needed in order to re-open and keep its staff in work.
The salon applied to the Manx Solidarity Fund in order to make these vital PPE purchases. Following a thorough review of the application, the Manx Solidarity Fund was able to provide a grant to cover the PPE costs, keep staff safe and allow for a safe re-opening.
“This cash-flow injection from the Manx Solidarity Fund has allowed us to re-open and keep our brilliant staff safe whilst they’re at work. Our clients too can now visit, safe in the knowledge that we’ve taken every measure possible to protect them. This amazing support from Manx Solidarity Fund has helped us so much and we’re immensely grateful.”
- Salon Owner
PPE FOR THE BALANCED HEALTH CLINIC
The Balanced Health Clinic is a family-run physical therapy business which has operated on the Isle of Man for over 30 years. Its practitioners apply Integrative Therapy approaches that can improve lives by preventing chronic conditions.
As the pandemic progressed on the Isle of Man, the clinic needed to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in order to reopen. With PPE, the clinic would be able to keep its staff and clients safe.
The Balanced Health Clinic applied to the Manx Solidarity Fund in order to cover these PPE costs and reopen. The application was thoroughly reviewed and then approved by the Manx Solidarity Fund.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the help provided by the Manx Solidarity Fund. We knew that in order to reopen we needed to invest in PPE to keep our staff and clients adequately protected. With our PPE costs covered by the Manx Solidarity Fund, we can now provide treatment once again for those who need it.”
- Isabel Machado-Williams, Owner, Balanced Health Clinic
SUPPORT GRANT FOR A SELF-CARE RETAILER
This anonymous retailer applied for a grant from Manx Solidarity Fund after its trading capacity vanished due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a new business, this retailer had a small existing customer base and had been on the verge of growing its brand awareness as the pandemic hit the Isle of Man. At a time when no sales could be made, they faced an influx of bills with no other income opportunities.
Those retailers stocking its products and its distribution company for private sales faced a knock-on effect as a result. As the financial pressure reached a critical point, the owner successfully applied to the Manx Solidarity Fund for support.
“I’m so relieved that the Manx Solidarity Fund has been able to support me, the business and our partners with this grant. Thank you Manx Solidarity Fund, you have made such a difference at a challenging time.”
THE FLOWER STUDIO BLOSSOMS DESPITE CORONAVIRUS DOWNTURN
The Flower Studio is a wedding and event florist which has been in business on the Isle of Man for over a decade.
When the Covid-19 pandemic brought the wedding and event industries to a halt, The Flower Studio saw all of its summer bookings cancelled or postponed. It was forced into moving its workshop equipment into storage until lockdown measures lifted and events could once again take place on the Island.
Despite a number of events pre-booked into 2021, Director Heidi Baker still needed support to manage a period with no income. She applied to the Manx Solidarity Fund for financial support to help get through this period of hardship.
The Manx Solidarity Fund was able to provide The Flower Studio with a grant, meaning it could stay afloat until lockdown restrictions ended.
“When all my bookings until July vanished, I knew the business faced a turbulent few months. It’s been a relief to have the Manx Solidarity Fund step in and help. Now, I can look to the future with confidence. I would encourage anyone who is in a similar situation to get in touch with the Manx Solidarity Fund. ”
- Heidi Baker, Director and Floral Designer, The Flower Studio
GLONNEY DESIGNS BUILDS A NEW SALES PRESENCE
Glonney Designs creates brightly coloured kiln glass art works and jewellery. Its main retail outlet is Manx National Heritage, delivering artisan products to Isle of Man tourists. When the Covid-19 pandemic meant its sales for the usual tourist season vanished, owner Miranda Caley faced a turbulent financial period whilst supporting her family.
Miranda identified new retail opportunities but this would require investment to build an online sales presence and to purchase the raw materials necessary to create her artworks. Rather than face the loss of a business which boosts the local art sector and promotes the Isle of Man to visitors, Miranda applied to the Manx Solidarity Fund for financial support.
The Manx Solidarity Fund was able to provide Glonney Designs with the financial support required to create its new purchasing platform and re-stock for the future.
“After everything I have been through establishing Glonney Designs, it would have been devastating to close the business. It still isn’t known when the Isle of Man tourist industry will return to its usual levels, so to have been supported by the Manx Solidarity Fund in the interim is a huge relief. I can now focus on new challenges and continue to promote the amazing arts scene we have here on the Isle of Man.” - Miranda Caley, owner, Glonney Designs
PORT ERIN PADDLEBOARDS WEATHERS THE STORM WITH MANX SOLIDARITY FUND
Port Erin Paddleboards is a multifaceted leisure provider on the Island, offering rentals, lessons and tours as part of its paddleboard service. Its business is largely seasonal, so its closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic put a strain on its finances as it faced losing its more profitable season.
At a time where bills were due, equipment needed maintenance and staff needed support, the business faced an extra problem when its van - a critical component as it transports the paddleboards - broke down.
Facing a period of financial upheaval, owner Andrea Colby turned to the Manx Solidarity Fund for support. Once its application was reviewed, the Manx Solidarity Fund was able to provide financial assistance to Port Erin Paddleboards.
“When we closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we knew we faced a tough period financially. We had bills to pay, equipment to maintain and staff to support. I want to thank the Manx Solidarity Fund for how it has helped us weather this period. We’ve worked so hard over the years to make the business a success and now we can continue to act as proud ambassadors for the Isle of Man.” - Andrea Colby, Owner, Port Erin Paddleboards.
SUPPORT FOR MINIBUSES ISLE OF MAN
Minibuses Isle of Man, a private hire company, applied to the Manx Solidarity Fund with a request for a grant after its bookings had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Minibuses Isle of Man had recently expanded its fleet of vehicles and paid for its three drivers’ accreditation, but its vehicles were now grounded as bookings were cancelled and weddings postponed until the Covid-19 crisis passed.
Owner Beverley Leanne Wicklow faced these issues in addition to working a second job in retail and looking after her six children. As deposits for bookings were returned and maintenance fees for the vehicles came in, the company chose to apply to the Manx Solidarity Fund.
The Manx Solidarity Fund accepted the grant request and provided funds following a robust review of the application. Now, Minibuses Isle of Man can keep its newly accredited staff onboard as it looks to the future.
“I would like to thank the Manx Solidarity Fund for their support at this incredibly difficult time. This crisis hit us when we were primed to go through a busy and profitable season. Despite the next few months of bookings being cancelled, we were looking to support our drivers and give them work for the years ahead. This has now been made achievable thanks to the Manx Solidarity Fund.” - Beverley Leanne Wicklow, Owner, Minibuses Isle of Man
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR A SINGLE MOTHER
An anonymous applicant applied to the Manx Solidarity Fund with a request for a grant.
She is a single mother who was left unable to work due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. With children to support - who were now at home due to school closures - the applicant risked falling into debt as bills were due and she did not meet the grant criteria from Isle of Man Government.
Due to unforeseen circumstances in the years prior to this grant request, she had been left homeless and had worked tirelessly to secure accommodation as well as normality and stability for her children before the pandemic struck the Isle of Man.
The Manx Solidarity Fund accepted the grant request and provided funds following a robust review of the application. With the support from the Manx Solidarity Fund, she can pay her bills and can apply for further assistance should it be required.
“When I was no longer able to work, I didn’t know where to turn. I’d had sleepless nights worrying how I was going to pay next month’s rent. Thanks to the support of the Manx Solidarity Fund, I can now make my urgent payments. It’s been a huge weight off my shoulders. I can’t thank the Manx Solidarity Fund enough for its support. There truly are some wonderful people on the Island.” - Anonymous