The fund has now closed

We carried out research in May 2020 which provided data on how the local voluntary sector has responded to the initial phase of the Coronavirus outbreak and plans and challenges for the future. The research also gave insight into the emerging needs of people across the County. To read more about the survey click here. As a result of what we have learned we are now inviting applications for the next stage of our response. Those who have already received funding from the HCF Coronavirus Relief Fund can reapply if we have received the required monitoring or a progress update.

Response grants up to £5,000 - In the first phase of the fund we focused on the immediate response to the pandemic by the voluntary sector and have made grants totaling over £500,000 to over 130 community groups. These grants will continue to be available for groups who only require a small amount of funding to continue to meet need in the short term and to get community activities up and running, especially for people who've been isolated. Grants to be spent by 30th September 2021. As before, we will deal with these using a short application form and a turnaround within two weeks.

Grants up to £10,000 In this second phase we will be providing larger grants of up to £10,000 to community organisations that have adapted their services to support people now and are looking to longer term need as a result of the pandemic. These grants must be spent by 30 September 2021.

Partnership grants up to £20,000 Our survey told us that many of you would like to collaborate so we are keen for groups to share proposals for larger bids that will see organisations coming together to meet specific emerging needs.

The HCF Coronavirus Relief Fund is made up of our own funds, generous donations to our appeal, and funds raised by the National Emergencies Trust.
Areas of need we have identified through our research include the following and initially we will prioritise these in our grant making.

  • Mental health problems in people of all ages

  • Social isolation in all vulnerable groups.

  • Problems emerging due to lack of income, redundancies, long-term unemployment, housing issues, poverty and food poverty.

  • Substance abuse, particularly alcohol

  • Family breakdown, coercive behaviour, domestic abuse, pressure on parents and carers

  • Bereavement support for those who have lost loved ones

  • IT support for those who are not digitally competent and feel left behind

  • Groups working to support individuals and communities identified as disproportionately affected by this pandemic including the following (not an exhaustive list): Over 65s; BAME communities; People with disabilities and chronic health conditions; low income families; carers; refugees and homeless people.

As part of this stage of our response, we are keen to support those groups that are reaching out to new clients who may not have needed their services before the outbreak of the Covid19.

We will review the criteria and key priority areas by listening to organisations through continuing dialogue. We recognise that some of you are unable to deliver your services at present, especially those who provide face to face support and activities for older people and other vulnerable groups. We plan to ring-fence some of our funding to be available available when need arises further down the line.

How to apply

Before you start your application we recommend that you download the fund eligibility criteria below

Please read these guidance notes before starting any of these applications

Phase 2 Relief Fund Guidance

Optional cashflow template which groups can use to demonstrate current and projected income in light of pandemic

cash flow template
for Coronavirus relief applicants

To apply for a response grant up to £5k click here

For a large grant from 5k to 10k To apply click here

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