I pay tribute to all the charities and social enterprises which have played such a vital role meeting the needs of vulnerable people affected by the current crisis. However, many have been experiencing significant challenges as they have had to close shops and other revenue-generating services, and cancel fundraising activities. To support them the government has made available an unprecedented package of support, including £750m targeted specifically at these sectors.
£200m Coronavirus Community Support Fund
From today charities and social enterprises in England can submit applications through the NLCF website (www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk)
- 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.
£160m has been allocated to other government departments, which will support the work of charities and social enterprises delivering services that are central to their policy agenda and public services. Departments are disbursing these funds in a range of ways. The following funds are currently open for organisations to apply to:
- The £3.45m Covid-19 Food Charity Grant Scheme to provide immediate support to keep food charities and front-line food aid charities open and supporting the vulnerable, due to the economic impacts of Covid-19, with a continual supply of food otherwise not accessed through usual routes.
- A £10m Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation Fund: COVID-19 emergency support fund to support domestic abuse safe accommodation services who provide beds and offer the critical help victims and their children need.
- The £6m Covid-19 Impact Programme to ensure that people from Armed Forces communities can keep accessing important services, where resources for these services have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The £5m Loneliness Covid-19 Grant Fund National organisations working to tackle loneliness and build social connections are invited to apply for a share of £5 million of funding, which the government is investing to help them to continue and adapt their critical work.
- The £6m Covid-19 Homelessness Response Fund to provide emergency funding to homelessness charities directly affected by the Coronavirus.
The Government has also matched the £35m raised by the BBC’s Big Night In, with the first £20m of this match funding going to the National Emergency Trust, to distribute through local community foundations, and the remainder to support the work of Children in Need and Comic Relief.
If you work for an organisation or charity which could benefit from one of these funds I urge you to apply using the links provided. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and every volunteer for the work you are doing in this difficult time.