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£1.4m available for charities through new Increasing Access Fund

£1.4m available for charities through new Increasing Access Fund

The Peter Sowerby Foundation has issued an open call for applications to its new £1.4 million Increasing Access Fund. 

The Increasing Access Fund specifically aims to ensure or increase access to key services and activities for beneficiaries who have struggled with this due to the pandemic: for example, because of lockdown measures or the fact that existing charitable services are unable to be delivered in a Covid-secure way.

The Fund will support charities to digitally enable access to services, or to adapt their delivery of existing services to comply with social distancing or other Covid-response measures.

It will award a total of £1.4 million to organisations nationally, working within the Peter Sowerby Foundation’s key domains of:

  • Healthcare Innovation – organisations in the fields of disability, medical research, mental health and those supporting individuals with long-term health conditions.
  • Community – organisations working with young people, especially those considered disadvantaged, delivering support to those disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and/or those working to support isolated older people.
  • Environment – organisations working in the area of horticulture and conservation which have been significantly financially impacted by the closure of venues.
  • Arts ­­­– organisations working in the area of arts, health and well-being where services and programmes are being adapted to benefit communities impacted by Covid-19.

The programme is split into three funding streams:

  1. Digital Breakthrough Grants to pilot new innovations or service delivery – the Foundation will fund five large grants of up to £100,000 to support charities (with a maximum turnover of £5 million) in the area of innovation and transformation in health and social care through digital service delivery.
  2. Digital Good Causes – a fund for grants of up to £25,000 (for organisations with a turnover of around £500,000) seeking to transform or adapt new services digitally.
  1. Adapted Good Causes – a fund for grants of up to £25,000 (for organisations with a turnover of around £500,000) to pilot, test or launch new services in light of the COVID-19 situation.

David Aspinall, the Chair of Trustees, commented: 

“Whilst the Foundation has already awarded significant grants in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we recognise the need for further support. As such, we are delighted to announce a further £1.4 million to support organisations to launch new or adapt existing services to ensure that beneficiaries can access the vital support they need at this time.”

The Peter Sowerby Foundation was set up through an endowment by Dr Peter Sowerby, who created the software behind EMIS, which supplies clinical software to GPs in the UK.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 16 November 2020. More details and information on how to apply is available on the Foundation’s site.

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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