A grant of £7,935 was awarded to Manx Wildlife Trust earlier this year to help it get its feet back firmly on the ground following Covid-19 lockdown.
Like many, the charity had to temporarily close its gift shop in Peel and two visitor centres in Scarlett and the Ayres during lockdown, in addition to cancelling all face-to-face fundraising activities. Due to its shop and visitor centres being manned almost entirely by volunteers considered high risk in terms of Covid-19, the charity was not in a position to open its doors once lockdown lifted. It was at this point it applied to the Trust for urgent support.
The grant part-funded a part-time Communications Coordinator, Rachael Harrop, to maintain and enhance the three sites, support and offer assistance to volunteers and, crucially, offer staffing support to the visitor centres at the busiest times of the week. This enabled Manx Wildlife Trust to slowly instigate a phased return to work for its volunteers while also providing opportunities for Island residents to enjoy the visitor centres and inspire conservation behaviour.

Leigh Morris, on behalf of Manx Wildlife Trust, said: ‘We’re beyond grateful for the support we have received from Manx Lottery Trust. Our visitor centres are important community engagement hubs, particularly for the team of volunteers who run them and get a huge amount of enjoyment from them. It was so important that we put their wellbeing first and provided cover, support and a phased system for all to return to work, while at the same time opening up to the public too.’ Sarah Kelly, Chairman of Manx Lottery Trust, added: ‘Manx Wildlife Trust’s visitor centres provide a community focal point for many and the charity clearly cares very dearly for its team of volunteers and supporters. It was important for them to provide support and not rush into anything post-lockdown, so we were pleased to offer our help earlier this year.’

Manx Lottery Trust has been delegated to distribute National Lottery money from The National Lottery Community Fund. This grant was from its Community Award Programme, for amounts between £2,501 and £50,000. Information on current funding programmes and application forms can be found at www.mlt.org.im/grant-programme