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Covid-19 funding news: grants awarded & funds available

Covid-19 funding news: grants awarded & funds available

A selection of Covid-19 grants awarded and funds still or newly available, ranging from CAF’s funding of the first 500 organisations through its Coronavirus Emergency Fund, to the newly available John Speden Lewis Foundation’s emergency fund for environmental charities.


CAF Coronavirus Emergency relief funds first 500 organisations

The Charities Aid Foundation’s Coronavirus Emergency Fund has paid grants to over 500 charitable organisations across the UK, totalling more than £2.3 million.

In addition to an initial £5 million made available by CAF, contributions from private individuals, trusts and businesses have added another £1 million to the fund.

The first 500 charitable organisations to receive grants of up to £10,000 include a wide range of causes, with the prevention of poverty being the single largest cause area to be granted money to help them cope with the effects of the pandemic, followed by health-related causes and charities helping children and young people.

The fund opened in late March and applications were paused on April 5th after more than 5,000 applications were received in just one week, requesting a combined total of over £40 million.

Monica Brown, CAF’s Head of Charity Advisory and Programmes, said:

“We now managed to get funds to 500 charities and have heard from members of the public, CAF clients and businesses of their desire to help CAF get this emergency money to the charities battling through these times.

“It is our plan to continue to grow this fund so that we will be in a position to help more small organisations to continue to deliver vital services in the weeks and months ahead.”


Virgin Money Foundation awards more than £285,000 to North East groups impacted by pandemic

Virgin Money Foundation has named the first wave of community and voluntary sector groups to benefit from its newly launched Community Resilience Fund.

The 23 North East organisations include 700 Club, Edberts House, Family Gateway and Jack Drum Arts, and are among the first voluntary and community sector groups to benefit from the Virgin Money Foundation Community Resilience Fund which was announced in April.

The grass roots groups will each receive grants of up to £20,000 as part of the new fund, a key part of a special £850,000 package of Virgin Money Foundation support for North East communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Community Resilience Fund – which makes up £500,000 of the total support package – was set up to assist organisations already funded by the Foundation. It will help replace lost income or help meet the cost of innovating in response to the pandemic. For many groups, demand on services has increased as organisations step up to support the most vulnerable members of the community, at the same time as protecting their colleagues and their families.


Kent Community Foundation launches emergency bridging loan

Kent Community Foundation has introduced a Coronavirus Emergency Bridging Loan in addition to the KCF Coronavirus Emergency Fund.

Introduced as part of Kent Community Foundation’s social lending programme, a Coronavirus Emergency Bridging Loan is an unsecured loan of up to £60,000 available to charities, Community Interest Companies (CICs) and Interest Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) in Kent and Medway, specifically t bridge the gap in funding as a result of coronavirus.

Introduced as part of Kent Community Foundation’s social lending programme, these unsecured loans have been launched in response to the significant losses in income that charities and groups continue to experience due to the interruption of ‘business as usual’. These loans are intended to fill gaps in lost income and offer an immediate six-month payment holiday if required.

The first Emergency Loan, for £60,000, was arranged in less the two weeks.

The KCF Coronavirus Emergency Fund has now distributed £850,000 to 241 good causes across Kent and Medway, including many helping to feed families in need.

In a typical year, Kent Community Foundation would normally award around £50,000 to food distribution projects as well as £40,000 to cookery projects including those supporting healthy eating. By comparison, since the county went into lockdown, on 23 March, the Foundation has awarded £200,000, more than twice the usual amount awarded in a year, to projects helping to feed families in Kent and Medway.

Natalie Smith, Director of Grants and Impact, Kent Community Foundation, said:

“Kent Community Foundation has made fifty emergency grants to groups involved in food distribution. As well as emergency grants to food banks, funding has also been given to other support groups including church groups, day centres, and befriending groups, who are all distributing food to meet the increased need during this pandemic.”


Aberdeen COVID-19 fund names 24 local charities to receive aid

The first 24 charities set to receive a total of £161,596 from the Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust Aberdeen COVID-19 Hardship Fund were announced in May.

The charities include CALICO (Cancer and Leukaemia in Children Orientated); Nepalese Himalayan Association Scotland; St Machar Parent Support Project; AberNecessities; Printfield Community Project; and Denis Law Legacy Trust.

Grants range from £2,000 to £35,000 and all money will go directly to supporting individuals and families by providing food, nappies, clothing, toiletries, energy costs, equipment for clients, or small hardship payments. Among those who will receive support are vulnerable and at-risk groups including people experiencing poverty or ill health, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, unemployed people, children and young persons, older people and others affected by the pandemic.

It is estimated that this round of funding will support approximately 3,640 individuals and 630 families with over 5,000 food parcels and 20,000 meals being provided.

The special hardship fund is a partnership between The Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust, The Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen and Aberdeen City Council.


Steve Morgan Foundation Covid-19 Emergency Fund

The Steve Morgan Foundation Covid-19 Emergency Fund has so far awarded over £4 million in 419 awards and helped a million people so far.

Philanthropist and businessman Steve Morgan announced in March he would be giving up to £1m a week to charities in Merseyside, North Wales and Cheshire faced with a cashflow crisis as a result of Covid-19.

In the first eight weeks the Covid-19 Emergency Fund made more than 400 awards to frontline charities, including the Central Cheshire Buddy Scheme, Stick ‘n’ Step, and Bradbury Fields.

The fund is currently still open for applications.



John Spedan Lewis Foundation emergency fund for environmental charities

The John Spedan Lewis Foundation has opened a Covid-19 UK emergency fund for small environmental charities struggling during the pandemic.

With a closing date for applications of 14 June, grants of up to £20,000 are available.

The Foundation will prioritise those applications where the funding will make a significant improvement to the charity’s solvency and ability to operate over the next 3-12 months.

It will accept funding applications from UK registered charities for which natural history topics and horticulture are explicitly stated among their charitable purposes. These can include wildlife conservation, entomology and ornithology. Horticulture is also included and horticultural charities will need to evidence how activities directly benefit UK wildlife (e.g. wildlife habitat creation, increased insect food sources).


Independent Age Grant Fund for charities working with older people affected by crisis

Independent Age is awarding emergency grants of up to £15,000 to smaller charities working with older people affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

Applicants should request enough funds to see them through the next six months of delivery and priority areas for funding are older people living in particularly complex and challenging situations; and older people in danger of being out of sight and out of mind.

Organisations that do not specialise in work with older people can also apply but must already be providing services for older people as part of their work and be able to demonstrate what they have achieved.

There are four separate funding rounds. In each round £500,000 will be available where organisations can apply to receive up to £15,000 each.

Round 1: 4 June 2020, 9am (closing) / 19 June 2020 (decision)
Round 2: 2 July 2020, 9am (closing) / 17 July 2020 (decision)
Round 3: 21 August 2020, 9am (closing) / 3 September 2020 (decision)
Round 4: 18 September 2020, 9am (closing) / 1 October 2020 (decision)


The National Lottery Heritage Fund offers higher emergency grants

Charities have until 30 June to apply to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for larger grants to cover emergency costs during the coronavirus crisis.

Past and current grantees are encouraged to apply for grants between £50,000-£250,000, in addition to the £3,000 to £50,000 grants which were launched in mid-April.

The Heritage Emergency Fund has been made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players and can be used for both immediate emergency actions and to help organisations in the heritage sector begin to think about recovery. The new grants are available to cover essential costs for up to four months, to help organisations address immediate risks, become more stable and work towards longer-term recovery after the crisis.

This can include stabilising an organisation or heritage asset to address immediate risk, protecting heritage through mothballing, reconfiguring business plans or covering essential costs such as site security or maintaining natural habitats. Grants can also contribute towards increasing digital activities during this period, testing new activities that will help with recovery, and reviewing and revising strategic and operating plans.

Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“Although we may not be able to fund everything, we do encourage organisations to get in touch and apply for funding. Heritage is incredibly valuable for people, communities and the economy. We want to support organisations to actively deal with immediate risks, become more stable and work towards longer term recovery.”


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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