CBILS funding helps YMCA Dulverton Group’s community initiatives across Somerset

Minehead Beach Hotel, Devon

Funding secured from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) from Allied Irish Bank (GB) has helped YMCA Dulverton Group make a real difference in the Somerset area during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The financial backing via the CBILS has helped with the running of some of YMCA Dulverton Group’s social enterprises in Somerset which have been repurposed to support vulnerable and homeless people.

The Beach Hotel in Minehead, Great Western Hotel in Taunton and YMCA Catering team have all adapted to support the different needs of the community.

The iconic Beach Hotel in Minehead was quickly transformed into temporary accommodation specifically for vulnerable people in the area who were homeless. The hotel is currently accommodating 26 individuals, providing a safe and secure place to self-isolate and residents are receiving three meals a day.

These have been prepared and distributed by the YMCA Dulverton Group’s catering team working from facilities at the hotel and at the Yew Trees Nursery in Axbridge to deliver food across Somerset.

Additional support has been provided by Devon-based Pasta King, the leading provider of nutritious pasta meals to schools in the UK, who joined forces with the YMCA Dulverton Group to help supply these hot meals and ensure the provision of freshly-made, balanced, nutritious meals that are easy to prepare.

Martin Hodgson, Chief Executive of YMCA Dulverton Group comments: “The last few months have affected everyone, and this has been an especially worrying and dangerous time for the most vulnerable and homeless in our communities.

“I am extremely proud of my team here at the YMCA who have worked tirelessly to adapt our facilities to accommodate individuals needing safe shelter and hot meals adhering to the Government guidelines. This commitment falls in line with our wider charity values, that everyone should have a safe place to stay. The team have so far seen 28 individuals move on into independent living and are currently supporting a further 13 within the hotel.

“Allied Irish Bank (GB) have shown fantastic support to us, firstly helping us to secure the CBILS facility which has given us the financial backing to undertake this activity and make a real difference to the community and secondly with their kind charitable donation of £1000 to support the work we are undertaking.”

Allied Irish Bank (GB) donated £1000 to Yew Trees Nursery as part of AIB Group’s charity initiative ‘AIB Together’ which has been created to help support local communities by raising much needed funds for charities who are central to the management of the pandemic.

Kevin Goodall, Senior Relationship Manager at Allied Irish Bank (GB) comments: “It was fantastic to see how quickly YMCA Dulverton Group had turned an enforced negative position, into the huge positive of offering protection to some of the most vulnerable people in society and contribute to lowering the risk of spreading COVID-19.

“The funding from CBILS is designed to help support cashflow needs for businesses that have been disrupted by the pandemic and this is a great example of how this support can be used effectively.

“I was also delighted to introduce Martin to Paul Allen at Pasta King who have brought their two businesses together to redirect their usual services. This is a fantastic example of two customers working together to help the local community.”