The Wimbledon Foundation pledged £20,000 in matched donations to the Merton Giving Coronavirus Fund in the wake of this year’s cancelled championship.
This year the Foundation has postponed its Community Fund, a grant programme which organisations can apply to for projects which meet the needs of those in Morden and Wandsworth, because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Last year £384,093 was donated to the Wimbledon Foundation, the All England Lawn Tennis Club’s charity which supports these local communities.
Helen Parker, head of the Wimbledon Foundation said: “The response from the local business community has been tremendous and we are pleased to be able to match fund this amount and increase the total funding available to charities helping those who are most vulnerable on the ground right now.”
To qualify for the Merton Giving Fund, organisations must have a track record of delivering services in Merton.
The fund will cover short term costs such as rent, rates, utilities, broadband connection and laptops to enable remote working.
It will not cover long term costs such as salaries or wages.
Wimbledon organisers are set to receive a £100 million insurance payout following the cancellation of the tournament.
The club updated its insurance policy to cover outbreaks of infectious disease in 2003 after the SARS epidemic.
Ian Hewitt, AELTC chairman, said: “It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by world wars but we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon’s resources to help those in our local communities and beyond.”
The Wimbledon Foundation has also announced it is contributing to the London Communities Coronavirus Appeal.
Donations raised through the LCF Appeal will be distributed alongside donations to the National Emergencies Coronavirus Appeal.
Merton council figures show that Wimbledon normally brings an estimated 500,000 people into Merton every year.