A SOUTHAMPTON shopping centre is to donate £20,000 to local groups impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Westquay is to launch the ‘Giving Back Project’, a new scheme which will see it donate £2,000 to ten local charities that have been hit hard by Covid-19.

The scheme has been developed in partnership with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation, who will help Westquay allocate the ten grants.

Laura Read, General Manager at Westquay said: “The past few months have been an extremely challenging time for so many people, and it is more important than ever that we support those in need. The Giving Back Project is all about giving a helping hand to those charities and organisations that do valuable work for local people, but are facing challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"By partnering with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation, we can make sure we reach the groups that most need our support.”

The Giving Back Project is specifically designed to support those local charities and organisations that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, and the lockdown during the past few months.

It will target groups such as food bank support and tackling food poverty; those providing support services to people affected by domestic violence and abuse; those supporting those who are homeless or rough sleeping; and those providing employment opportunities, enterprise or skills development.

Grant Cornwell MBE, Chief Executive at HIWCF added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Westquay and this generous donation. During the Coivid-19 crisis we have discovered many people who are isolated, without income, and fearful of the days ahead.

"The grants from Westquay will make a massive difference to our abilities to provide ongoing funding to support the most vulnerable within Southampton.

"HIWCF has a strong record of working with corporate clients in managing and administering professional charitable funds to achieve high impact corporate social responsibility goals and we provide an efficient and flexible way for local businesses to manage their charitable giving.”

Groups can check if they are eligible to apply for a grant on https://www.hiwcf.com/funds/hammerson/.