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New £200m Coronavirus Community Support Emergency Fund

The Government’s new Coronavirus Community Support Fund via the National Lottery Community Fund (TNLCF) is now open for applications.

This new funding stream makes available £200m of the Governments’ previously announced £750M COVID-19 response funding, is aimed primarily at small to medium organisations and will cover costs for the next six month period.

TNLCF will distribute the Government funding alongside National Lottery funding, to support organisations to continue to deliver services to people and communities affected by COVID-19.

The Fund has two key objectives:

  1. To increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, through the work of civil society organisations.
  2. To reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises, ensuring services for vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 have the financial resources to operate, and so reduce the burden on public services.

Grants up to £10,000 or between £10,000 & £100,000 (proportional to the size of your organisation) will be made to allow organisations to meet service costs, where they are experiencing increased demand and/or short-term income disruption and will cover proportional running costs, staff salaries, discrete project costs and equipment (among other things) over a six month period. Grants will also allow organisations to refocus services to address more immediate beneficiary needs in light of COVID-19.

Groups classed as ‘vulnerable people’ are those most affected by the pandemic and include:

  • Older people, people with disabilities, BAME communities, vulnerable young people and those experiencing domestic abuse, mental health issues, homelessness, economic deprivation, loneliness or isolation

The fund will also support organisations facilitating/supporting volunteering and promoting community organising.

This fund will be highly over-subscribed and applications will be processed in the order they are received so don’t hang about – the sooner you get an application in the better your chances.

Read more and apply here

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Coronavirus Food Charities Grant Fund

If you run a front-line food aid charity in England, you can apply for a grant of up to £100,000 to help you continue to provide food to the vulnerable.

Organisations are eligible to apply if they

  • are unable to meet an increased demand for food from vulnerable individuals or supporting charities
  • have the capacity to distribute all of the food purchased under this grant by 9 August 2020

You can apply for the grant to provide for people:

  • unable to afford food
  • who have moved into temporary accommodation as a result of COVID-19, for example those who have left home due to domestic abuse, newly released prisoners, the newly homeless

This grant is not to provide food for the extremely clinically vulnerable, who are already being supported by government.

You may also need to confirm whether you’re applying for or receiving:

  • other government funding
  • food from FareShare

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will assess applications to the fund in the order they are submitted.

Deadline: 6 July 2020

Read more and apply here

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National Lottery Awards Awards for All – COVID-19 update

National Lottery Awards for All offers funding from £300 to £10,000 to support what matters to people and communities.

CEO Dawn Austwick stated all the funding decisions they make for the next six months (March to Sept 2020) of up to £300m of National Lottery funding will be devoted to addressing the COVID-19 crisis. Read more here.

This is restricted to:

  • Activities specifically geared to supporting communities through this crisis
  • Helping organisations overcome any liquidity issues caused by COVID-19.

You can apply if your organisation is a:

  • voluntary or community organisation
  • registered charity
  • constituted group or club
  • not-for-profit company or community interest company
  • social enterprise
  • school
  • statutory body (including town, parish and community council)

No deadline.

Please note: They are allowing organisations to apply for National Lottery Awards for all if they have a specific Covid-19 project the team will be speeding the assessment process. This means even if you or an organisation, already has a NLAFA grant they can apply for another to help ie volunteers costs, additional staff costs etc.

Find out more here. 

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Community Foundation coronavirus fund open for applications

The Community Foundation is calling for applications from organisations who are providing immediate relief to vulnerable people affected by the Covid-19 crisis with grants of between £1,000 and £5,000.

By vulnerable, they mean the elderly (70+) and those with pre-existing health conditions, heart and circulatory problems, lung conditions, cancer and arthritis). They can also support organisations during the crisis who are helping people experiencing hardship, victims of domestic violence or people needing support with mental health issues or bereavement. The Community Foundation is keen to help organisations working with communities who may be disproportionately affected by the outbreak in other ways e.g. because they are already facing prejudice and discrimination or are being poorly served by ‘mainstream’ services.

They want to fund organisations that are responding by continuing or adapting their existing activities. This can include:

  • core costs e.g. salaries, volunteering support and overheads.
  • project/capital costs of adapting services, like devices or software to enable remote working.
  • the costs of provisions for people facing hardship (e.g. foodbanks that need to buy more supplies

Please note that they will only fund work covered by the purposes set out in your governing document. For example, if it says that your sole purpose is ‘to provide sporting activities for young people’ they could not fund you to distribute food parcels to the elderly.

No deadline. Please ensure you read all of the criteria before applying.

Read more and apply here.

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BBC Children in Need: COVID-19 Response Grants

BBC Children in Need is temporarily pausing their current grant programmes to launch two new COVID-19 Response Grants to enable organisations to continue to support disadvantaged children and young people aged 18 years and under. The funding will be open to current grantees and new applicants to help them to respond and adapt to the impact of the coronavirus.

Their purpose is to assist you to reach and continue to meet the needs of disadvantaged children and young people, including those young people impacted by hidden risks including poverty and abuse. These grants aim to provide you with the funds to respond effectively and flexibly to the changes caused by the crisis and to continue to meet the needs of children and young people during this time.

The Response Programmes are as follows:

  • COVID-19 2020 Booster Grants: open to current grant-holders. Up to £5,000 over a six month period. Opens 18 May 2020.
  • COVID-19 Large Grants: up to £80,000 over an 18 month period. Opens 8 June 2020.

More details on both of these funds will be made available on their website. Please check regularly for updates.

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Power to Change emergency support

After pausing their funding programmes, Power to Change is launching up to £12 million of emergency support to provide both immediate and medium-term help for community businesses facing a loss of trading income during the coronavirus crisis.

The new emergency support includes:

  • £7 million in rescue funding for community businesses, offering grants up to £25,000 to contribute towards trading income losses incurred between April and June 2020. This first pot of funding is available to current and previous Power to Change grantees and to community businesses that are members of Co-operatives UK, Locality and the Plunkett Foundation. This emergency support will be open for applications from week commencing 11 May; those organisations can find out more on the Power to Change website and attend a free webinar about the scheme on 6 May.
  • £5 million in recovery funding, to be made available later this year, based on learning from the first pot to help community businesses rebuild and recover strongly from the crisis.

Some grantees will receive separate support as follows:

Community Business Fund: Current Community Business Fund grantees and applicants are being invited to apply to the Emergency Trading Income Support Scheme separately as they will be able to apply for up to £30,000 grant to contribute towards loss of trading income. Former Community Business Fund grantees can apply to the wider scheme.

Bright Ideas: Organisations who have an active Bright Ideas grant will be invited to apply to separate support later in May through Locality, but can register their interest on the Power to Change website in the meantime. Former Bright Ideas grantees can apply to the wider scheme.

Empowering Places: Power to Change is committed to investing in a place-based approach to community business growth. They are currently doing this with delivery partner Cooperatives UK in six places through the Empowering Places programme. The catalyst organisations in those places will be able to repurpose their existing budget to get the support they, and their place, needs to cope with the crisis. Any catalyst who is also a current or former grantee of another programme or a member of Locality, Cooperatives UK and Plunkett Foundation will also be eligible for the wider support scheme.

More than a Pub: Power to Change have repurposed some of the More than a Pub budget with delivery partner Plunkett Foundation to disburse £2,000 grants to community businesses operating as community pubs so they can adapt their services in response to the crisis and provide remote advisor support to 100 community pubs in England. The wider More than a Pub programme remains paused to new applicants.

Community Business Trade Up: The current cohort of Community Business Trade Up will complete the programme. In addition, some complementary capacity support will be offered by delivery partner School for Social Entrepreneurs to the cohort who completed their programme in March.

Next Generation: The current cohort of Next Generation will complete the programme. There are no future rounds planned for Next Generation, with delivery partner CSE.

The following programmes remain paused to new applicants:

  • Homes in Community Hands
  • Community Shares Booster programme

Read more and apply here. 

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The Catherine Cookson Trust






The Catherine Cookson Trust supports a wide range of activities including education and training, environment and conservation, arts and culture as well as general charitable purposes. The Trust’s principal aim is to identify and meet the local needs of the area in which Dame Catherine was brought up and resided. In particular the Trust supports work with young or disadvantaged people.

The Trustees funds registered charities and prefer projects and schemes which involve or are directed towards capital expenditure.

They do not generally consider applications for core funding or on-going financing, applications with a foreign element, individuals or applications for Sports Clubs/Associations.

There are no deadlines for applications.

Grant size: Although grants awarded range from between £250 and £10,000, the majority of grants are not above £1,000.

Application process: Catherine Cookson Trust website

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Hilden Charitable Fund: summer play schemes

Grants of up to £1,500* are available to help community groups run summer play schemes for disadvantaged communities. Priority will be given to projects that can show BME involvement as well as that of children from refugee families.

Projects should be for children aged 5 to 18 years, be locally-based, last from two to six weeks,and have strong volunteer support. Please note, schemes with a budget of more than £12,000 will not be supported.

* based on previous year’s accounts. VCSE (income less than £150k).

Deadline: 29 May

Read more and apply here

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Community Foundation: REEDS Grassroots Fund

The fund supports projects in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland that aim to improve the life chances of disadvantaged communities. Grants of up to £3,000 will be made to support the delivery of welfare benefits and employment-related advice and support activities to disadvantaged individuals and families in poverty and in order to achieve one or more of the following:

  • Preventing or alleviating poverty through increased income
  • Improved living standards of the most disadvantaged through increased household income
  • Increasing individuals’ ability to manage their benefits claims to reduce the likelihood of future sanctions/problems

SMART objectives could include:

  • Increased take up of benefits entitlement
  • Number of successful appeals against sanctions
  • Referrals to other support services as relevant/required such as food banks
  • Numbers of service users successfully making new online claims
  • Number of service users supported to manage debt

Applicants will need to be located in areas of high deprivation, and to demonstrate that they have experience in delivering this support, and to provide examples of successful outcomes already achieved. Please also indicate if support is required to maintain existing services or for additional resources to meet increased demand.

Applications are invited from mainly smaller (income of no more than £70,000 per annum) organisations but those with a larger income will be considered.

Examples of disadvantaged communities include those affected by poverty, unemployment, homelessness, asylum seeker/refugee status, disability and people with learning disabilities. Activities which are not a priority for the REEDS Grassroots Fund:

  • Sports groups/sporting activities for the general public
  • Uniformed groups
  • Environmental projects
  • General Arts projects
  • General community activities

Deadline: None – rolling grant programme

Read more and apply here.


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Community Foundation: Enviresearch




The Enviresearch Fund will support activities that inspire 10 to 13-year-old children to learn about science by adding that extra wow factor to the school curriculum on science.

This is through visits to the museums, science field trips, inviting scientists into schools and activities outside of school.

This is a rolling programme, there are no deadlines for applications.

Grant size: Between £750 and £1,000, with one or two larger grants of up to £4,000 made

Read more and apply here.


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