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Former Wolves owner Steve Morgan extends emergency charity support scheme

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | Wolves | Published:

Former Wolves owner Steve Morgan has extended a scheme which has seen millions of pounds given to cash-strapped charities during the coronavirus crisis until September.

Steve Morgan

More than £4.5 million has been distributed to help some of the most vulnerable people through the housing tycoon's foundation during the pandemic.

Mr Morgan has now announced the campaign will continue for a further two months in an attempt to help charities recover. Cash has been awarded more than 450 causes close to the businessman's base in Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales.

He has also committed to give up to another £1m in match-funding to Cheshire Community Foundation’s Covid-19 Response Fund.

The Redrow founder bought Wolves for a nominal £10 from Sir Jack Hayward in 2007 and remained at the helm during a rollercoaster nine years which saw the club achieve promotion to the Premier League and suffer relegation to League One.

Mr Morgan said: “I’m proud of how the Covid-19 Emergency Fund has supported those charities that have stayed open during the pandemic to help the most vulnerable members of society but the job’s not done. A lot of frontline charities are struggling financially and that’s why I’m extending the Emergency Fund until the end of September.

“At the same time the Steve Morgan Foundation will be restarting some of our other much-needed work, including opening up applications for our Enable Fund to provide support for disabled people who are in financial hardship. That need has not gone away.”

The philanthropist, who handed over the Molineux reins to Fosun in 2016, said the last three months had been among the most challenging for everyone.

“I thought I’d seen most things in my lifetime but Covid-19 has been unprecedented,” he said. “It’s completely ripped up the rule book.

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“When I launched the Covid-19 Emergency Fund I pledged to give up to £1m-a-week for 12 weeks to support charities and it’s overwhelming to see how so many of them evolved to start delivering food to the most vulnerable and moving their services online so they could stay in touch with their users.

“We’ve helped more than one million people already but the needs changed as it evolved. For example we had 165 applications for money in week one and just 35 in week seven.

“We had hundreds of requests to cover the salaries of charities that closed their doors during the pandemic but we had to say no because it was specifically for charities that had carried on helping the vulnerable.”

Mr Morgan said there were no new restrictions on who could apply for the new round of funding but said they had to reflect what was needed.

“The emergency food banks have done an amazing job and that need is still there for a lot of people,” said the father-of-six. “But there’s also a growing problem of mental health because of the lockdown and tackling that has to be priority."

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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