We’re delighted to confirm that the Government’s new Coronavirus Community Support Fund opened for applications on Friday 22 May.
This new funding stream makes available £200m in Government funding that will be aimed primarily at small to medium organisations in England.
The Fund has two key objectives:
- To increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, through the work of civil society organisations.
- 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 will allow organisations to meet service costs, where they are experiencing increased demand and/or short-term income disruption. Grants will also allow organisations to refocus services to address more immediate beneficiary needs in light of COVID-19.
We will distribute this much-needed financial support to communities across England, while also continuing to distribute money raised by National Lottery players. The entry point and process for both streams will be the same, making it easier for you to apply.
We’re committed to working flexibly, as far as possible, to support organisations to get the help needed to respond to the immediate crisis and prepare for the future.
We know that these are challenging times – in the words of our CEO, Dawn Austwick:
“Charities are playing a vital role in channelling the right resources, to the right place, at the right time. This Government funding will fuel that vital work and give those charities greater certainty at this critical time for the country and we look forward to getting it to where it can make the most difference.
“In putting the programme together, we have been helped by insight and advice from across civil society. We will keep that conversation going to guide how we support charities and community organisations as they rebuild in the future.”
As part of the announcement, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“Charities and social enterprises, with the support of volunteers, are the beating heart of our communities. Since the crisis hit, they have stepped up their response which has been vital to the national effort.
“We need our charities to help Britain bounce back, which is why we have pledged an unprecedented package of support to help them make a huge difference for vulnerable people across the country.”
Civil Society says
Lesley Councill, Manager, Priorswood Community Centre at The North Taunton Partnership:
“We’re a small charity facing increased demand and challenges due to Covid-19 – with additional funding we can offer a range of support to our community, from shopping and picking up prescriptions, to phone calls and emails to those who are isolated.
“We have ambitions to transform our space into a food storage centre, where the most vulnerable can request a food parcel to tide them over – and the rest of it we donate to the local foodbank. Grants are vital for small charities like ours, ensuring we can support our communities through these challenging times.”
Jumbe Mwawegu, Vice Secretary, The East African Education Foundation:
“Our Community Outreach Project is an example of many projects we deliver to the community in response to emerging needs. We started this project in March 2020 by raising awareness on transmission and prevention. With funding support, small charities like ours are able to reach out to those affected by this pandemic. We deliver food packs, cleaning materials and offer online advice and befriending service to the community across Barking and Dagenham.”
Marie Peacock, Chief Executive Officer, Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity:
“We want to use digital platforms to provide online support groups to bring people together, develop peer support, and ensure that we can be there every step of the way for brain tumour patients, their loved ones and carers across Yorkshire during these difficult times.
“As a local charity, our work is vital to the community we support. Like many small charities across the country, we’re seeing an increased demand for our services, and grants like this are a lifeline to keep our much-needed support going, particularly during these challenging times.”
Kunle Olulode, Director, Voice4Change England: “With limited emergency funding available, it’s important that charity groups and communities are kept fully informed of the support that is available during this really difficult time for civil society. Good outreach communication is going to be critical to reach all. We will do our best, with other infrastructure bodies to ensure the message gets out.”
Chris Wright, Chief Executive of Catch22:
“We must collaborate effectively as sectors, private, voluntary and public – this is a time to pull together to achieve fundamental change. This is not about self-protection and narrow interests.”
Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK: “We welcome the inclusion of many social enterprises in the government support package for civil society. Social enterprises are at the heart of their communities and are showing real creativity in adapting the ways they work to protect and even enhance the role value they create through this crisis. Social enterprises are working in some of the poorest communities and with some of the most marginalised groups. They are also fundamentally important to the UK economy, contributing £60bn a year, whilst simultaneously reducing inequalities and tackling our greatest social and environmental challenges”.
Matthew Bolton, Executive Director, Citizens UK:
“The local community response to this emergency has been awesome in its commitment and creativity. We’ve had thousands of people stepping up to support those who are vulnerable, whether it’s through setting up ‘telephone trees’ to make sure isolated people get a daily phone call, or getting trained as a mental health champion to provide support online to those who are anxious. The support of local community organisations and charities has never been so vital.”