Author: Miranda Love

Groundwork joins the Enterprise Development Programme as Environment Sector Partner

The Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) is expanding. Community charity, Groundwork is joining the partnership to support charities and social enterprises operating in the environment sector. 

The EDP is developed and funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment and managed by Social Investment Business (SIB). It provides a broad range of support for charities and social enterprises working in certain sectors in England, helping them to work up an idea for trading and expand or upscale their existing business or enterprise model.

Groundwork will work closely alongside the chosen environmental organisations, supporting them to become more financially and environmentally sustainable. These organisations will work collaboratively with Groundwork to develop a package of support to help them on their enterprise journey, with support including an enabler network, mentoring, group-based learning opportunities, training and support on applying for grants. 

Examples of eligible trading models are broad and could include; selling woodland products or produce from land management projects, selling services such as training or awareness courses, producing and selling a Standard Mark, or setting up an online retail or physical charity shop. 

Funds generated by charities and social enterprises from trading can complement grant funding, act as a source of core funding or be reinvested back into organisations for further growth.

Stage 1 applications for environmental organisations in England will open on Tuesday 15 June with a deadline of Tuesday 13 July.

Since relaunching following its pilot in January 2020, the EDP programme has supported over 80 organisations across the Equality, Homelessness, Mental Health and Youth sectors with tailored support packages, which have included learning programmes and grants. 

EDP’s current sector themes cover Black and Minoritised Communities, Equality, Homelessness, Mental Health and Youth, with sector partners the Ubele Initiative, Equally Ours, Homeless Link, The Association of Mental Health Providers, and The Centre for Youth Impact.

Seb Elsworth, Chief Executive of Access – The Foundation for Social Investment – said: “Charities and social enterprises operating in the environment sector are improving communities and supporting people right around the country. Building more resilient business models is key to them being able to deliver more of this impact, and for many earned income can play a bigger role. We are delighted that Groundwork are joining the Enterprise Development partnership to embed support for enterprise in the environmental sector.”

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s UK Chief Executive, said: “We are very pleased to be joining the Enterprise Development Programme partnership. We hope that by supporting environmental organisations in securing more sustainable and resilient futures, we can help communities thrive.”

Deborah Smart, Director of Grants at Social Investment Business, said: “We’re delighted that the Enterprise Development Programme is expanding to be able to support organisations operating in the Environment sector. The addition of Groundwork UK as a new sector partner will help environmentally-focused organisations to grow their enterprise activity and increase their impact.”

How to apply

Stage 1 application for the Environment sector for EDP will open on 15 June, with a deadline 4 weeks later on 13 July. Stage 2 applications will close on 10 August. You can read more about the eligibility criteria here. 

In the meantime, you can find out more about EDP and the application process here.


For further information, please contact:

Miranda Love

Marketing and Communications Lead

Social Investment Business

Notes to Editors

About Access

Access – The Foundation for Social Investment works to make charities and social enterprises in England more financially resilient and self-reliant, so that they can sustain or increase their impact.

Access does this by supporting the development of enterprise activity to grow and diversify income and improving access to the social investment which can help stimulate that enterprise activity.

Set up in 2015, Access was endowed with £60m by the Government to support more organisations to access social investment. It also runs the Growth Fund, a blended finance programme supporting small scale lending to the sector, on behalf of the National Lottery Community Fund and Big Society Capital.

About Social Investment Business

Social Investment Business provides finance to create fairer communities and improve people’s lives. They do this by providing the money and support they need directly, partnering to support them effectively and, using their knowledge to inform their own work and influence others.

Since 2004, SIB has deployed and managed over £400m of loans and grants into over 2,000 organisations and enabled almost 1,000 more to get dedicated support through programmes.

About Groundwork 

Groundwork is a charity working locally and nationally to transform lives in the UK’s most disadvantaged communities. We’re passionate about creating a future where every neighbourhood is vibrant and green, every community is strong and able to shape its own destiny and no one is held back by their background or circumstances. 

We help people gain confidence and skills, get into training and work, protect and improve green spaces, lead more active lives and overcome significant challenges such as poverty, isolation, low skills and poor health.

The Ubele Initiative join the Enterprise Development Programme as Black and Minoritised Communities Sector Partner

Two black women stand in front of a market stall for the social enterprise Breadline London - which aims to support families to raise themselves out of the cycle of poverty through financial education, training, practical workshops, and business opportunities.

The Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) is expanding to be able to support charities and social enterprises operating in the Black and Minoritised Communities sector.

The EDP is led by a partnership of national infrastructure bodies seeking to support the development of enterprise models in charities and social enterprises working in certain thematic sectors. It has been developed and is funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment. Social Investment Business (SIB) provide a management role for the overall programme. EDP’s current sector themes cover Equality, Homelessness, Mental Health and Youth, with sector partners Equally Ours, Homeless Link, The Association of Mental Health Providers, and The Centre for Youth Impact.

The Ubele Initiative will be joining the programme as the Black and Minoritised Communities sector partner. The Black and Minoritised Communities Enterprise Development Programme (BMEDP) will contribute to one of the key delivery objectives within The Ubele Initiative’s new three-year strategic plan. As part of this plan, they will establish the first ever National Strategic Alliance, the aim of which is to support Community Wealth Building within Black and Minoritised communities. The BMEDP will be led by Ubele and hosted within the National Strategic Alliance. The Strategic Alliance is still at an early stage of development. However, once established and fully operational it will consist of up to 12 Black and Minoritised regional infrastructure alongside key local anchor organisations across England, with the South West, London and Yorkshire and Humber already confirmed.

The Covid-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter shed light on deep rooted social and economic structural inequalities which disproportionately impact on Black and Minoritised communities. It surfaced the need to challenge institutional racism which is still in place across the UK. Furthermore, existing large-scale gaps in service provision have been exacerbated by a lack of support and under-investment in support for Black and Minoritised Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) infrastructure arrangements over many years. Although national, regional and local recovery strategies have begun to set out plans for addressing some of these inequalities through a mission driven approach, there is an urgent need for targeted strategic interventions over a period of years.

The EDP provides a broad range of support, helping organisations to establish new enterprise models, or grow existing ones. It offers a combination of cohort-based peer learning opportunities, training, direct advice and support, as well as grants to research or test out new ideas, to launch new enterprises or grow existing ones.

Since relaunching following its pilot in January 2020, the programme has supported over 80 organisations across the Equality, Homelessness, Mental Health and Youth sectors with tailored support packages, which have included learning programmes and grants. 

Seb Elsworth, Chief Executive of Access – The Foundation for Social Investment – said: “We have learned from our work over the last five years that developing viable enterprise models in charities and social enterprises is a key way to build resilience. It is also a precondition of being able to utilise social investment. We are delighted to be working with The Ubele Initiative and a range of partners to further expand the EDP to the Black and Minoritised Communities sector, both to directly support dozens of organisations and to help strengthen the vital infrastructure for the sector in the longer term.”

Yvonne Field, Founder and Director of The Ubele Initiative, said: 

“The Ubele Initiative started ten years ago as a community-led intervention. Since then we have worked intentionally and collaboratively to give voice and support to the needs and concerns of Black and Minoritised communities across the country.

The Black and Minoritised Communities Enterprise Development Programme (BMEDP) is a necessary response to an urgent need for longer term strategic enterprise-led interventions to the Black and Minoritised VCSE sector. 

We are pleased to strengthen our partnership with Access and Social Investment Business through BMEDP, and use the programme to support the creation of the first ever National Strategic Alliance to support Community Wealth Building within Black and Minoritised communities.” 

Deborah Smart, Director of Grants at Social Investment Business, said:At Social Investment Business, our strategy involves providing the finance that organisations need to create fairer communities. We know that COVID-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities between and within communities across the UK – particularly for black and minoritised communities. We are pleased therefore to be expanding our partnership with Access on the Enterprise Development Programme to include the Black and Minoritised Communities sector and strengthening our existing partnership with The Ubele Initiative. We look forward to supporting the enterprise activity of charities and social enterprises working in the black and minoritized communities sector.”

How to apply

Stage 1 application for BMEDP will open on 1 June 2021, with a deadline 4 weeks later on 29 June. Stage 2 applications will then remain open for a further 3 weeks, closing on 20 July. You can find the eligibility criteria here

You can find out more about EDP and the application process here.


For further information, please contact:

Access – The Foundation for Social Investment
Ana Van Bilsen Irias
Programme Manager

Social Investment Business
Miranda Love
Marketing and Communications Lead

The Ubele Initiative
Anita Duda
Communications Manager

Notes to Editors

About Access

Access – The Foundation for Social Investment works to make charities and social enterprises in England more financially resilient and self-reliant, so that they can sustain or increase their impact.

Access does this by supporting the development of enterprise activity to grow and diversify income, and improving access to the social investment which can help stimulate that enterprise activity.

Set up in 2015, Access was endowed with £60m by the Government to support more organisations to access social investment. Access also provides grant into blended finance programmes to enable social investment providers to offer more of the sort of finance the sector most needs.

 About Social Investment Business

Social Investment Business provides finance to create fairer communities and improve people’s lives. They do this by providing the money and support they need directly, partnering to support them effectively and, using their knowledge to inform their own work and influence others.

Since 2004, SIB has deployed and managed over £400m of loans and grants into over 2,000 organisations and enabled almost 1,000 more to get dedicated support through programmes.

About The Ubele Initiative

The Ubele Initiative (Ubele) derives its name from the Swahili word meaning ‘The Future’. Ubele is an African Diaspora led intergenerational social enterprise founded in 2014, to build more sustainable communities across the UK.

They support a wide range of communities, most notably Black and minoritised community organisations and groups, with their community assets (people and physical spaces), through social action, community enterprise development and next-generation leadership initiatives. Ubele’s approach includes facilitating group learning and bringing together a culturally diverse and intergenerational group of community activists and changemakers.

Enterprise Development Programme supports social enterprise to gain accreditation

Originally published via Social Enterprise Mark on 12/3/21.

Second Shot Coffee, a social enterprise that trains, employs, and supports people affected by homelessness, has met recognised standards of good practice to be awarded the Social Enterprise Mark.

The Social Enterprise Mark is an externally assessed accreditation, which provides an independent guarantee that an organisation has met sector-agreed criteria and is operating as a genuine social enterprise, committed to creating positive social change.

Second Shot Coffee was supported to apply for accreditation through the Enterprise Development Programme, which aims to support charities and social enterprises to become more financially resilient by developing new enterprise models, or by growing existing ones.

The Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) is funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment and delivered by a coalition of national partners, including Homeless Link, which is the delivery partner for the homelessness sector. As part of the programme, Homeless Link worked with Julius Ibrahim, founder of Second Shot Coffee, to identify which support could help them grow their enterprise activity to become more financially sustainable.

Murphy Hopkins-Hubbard, Enterprise Development Manager at Homeless Link, suggested to Julius that accreditation may be beneficial for Second Shot Coffee and the EDP grant supported him to apply for the Social Enterprise Mark. After an independent assessment process to ensure the organisation met the sector-agreed criteria, which defines what it means to be a social enterprise, Second Shot Coffee was awarded the Social Enterprise Mark in early February 2021.

Murphy Hopkins-Hubbard

Murphy said: “We have worked with 20 homelessness organisations this year as part of the Enterprise Development Programme and each of them has undergone diagnostic consultations to understand what support would be most valuable. It’s so exciting to see Julius’s work with developing Second Shot Coffee recognised through the Social Enterprise Mark. We hope to find this accreditation boosts the credibility of the organisation as well as boost opportunities for partnerships.”

Second Shot Coffee was set up to tackle negative misconceptions and lack of understanding around homelessness. By providing employment and training to individuals that have been failed by society, it aims to eliminate these perceptions and bring people closer together, and in doing so improve the long-term life outcomes and wellbeing of people experiencing homelessness.

Julius Ibrahim

On being awarded the Social Enterprise Mark, Julius Ibrahim said “Creating meaningful impact has been at the core of Second Shot Coffee since we opened in 2016. It’s amazing to now have the Social Enterprise Mark to underpin that dedication and to highlight the work we do. Going forward we’re excited to grow within the community and work with new partners to shout about the importance of social businesses as we progress on to the next phase of the Second Shot story.”

To find out more about Second Shot Coffee click here.

Originally published via Social Enterprise Mark on 12/3/21.

Resources from Enterprise training partner The School For Social Entrepreneurs

Unrealistically clean soup kitchen full of models

The School for Social Entepreneurs is an Enterprise learning partner, and has been involved with EDP since the pilot programme. Below are several links to blogs, case studies and articles involving EDP case studies:


Three ideas: How homelessness charities can increase income The School for Social Entrepreneurs (


Richard Marsh, Manchester Youth Zone The School for Social Entrepreneurs (

Case Study

Steven Platts, Groundswell The School for Social Entrepreneurs (

Match Trading

Match Trading spreads – and could significantly boost earned income | The Social Enterprise Magazine – Pioneers Post

Barons Court Project – a peek inside their experience within the Enterprise Development Programme

Barons Court Project is a day centre in Hammersmith and Fulham for people who are homeless and/or living with mental health conditions.

Our funding has largely been reliant on contributions from Trusts and Foundations, along with some local authority grants as well. Over the past few years, we have experimented with diversifying our funding streams by establishing a Friend’s Scheme, Corporate Donations, In Kind Sponsorship as well as running some successful fundraising events. The idea of establishing an inhouse social enterprise started to become increasingly appealing to us as a way of becoming more financially independent.

Before we joined the Enterprise Development Programme, we had run trials of different ideas for social enterprise projects, including selling greetings cards designed by service users or dinner clubs run by service users. We found that they not only offered the potential to diversify our income streams, but they also helped to build awareness of our work and gave new opportunities to our service users to feel empowered, develop new skill sets and contribute to our work in a rewarding way. The local community bought into the ideas we had trialled, but we knew we would need support to make a real success of
these initiatives, and we felt that what the EDP offered would be of real benefit to our organisation at that stage.

Being part of the EDP meant receiving the input of other organisations with more experience in managing social enterprises, training from experts in the field, and financial support to invest in and expand our initiative. It also meant that we would have the opportunity to share what he had learnt from others, and to work together to turn our ideas into a programme of social enterprise projects which would be a significant and consistent source of income and engagement with the community.

Since our launch in June 2020, our social enterprise Home(less)Made has grown from strength to strength. We have managed to establish a loyal and fond customer base, many of whom are repeat customers. Our sales have increased by an average of 55% on a month-to-month basis, and our profit margins are consistent and healthy. The Christmas period saw us sell an incredible 980 Christmas Cards. This growth is a real testament to the incredible artwork Guan and Lui have produced.
Practicing art has given them an escape from the daily challenges of being homeless, whilst also giving them a sense of meaning and purpose in their day to day lives. The confidence that Guan and Lui receive from selling their artwork is the essence of the positive impact we make at Home(less)Made. Recognition and validation are so important for them and incredibly rewarding for us to witness.

Our growth and sales so far, along with the support we’ve received from the EDP, has allowed us to invest in the development of a brand identity which we’re really proud of and will be sharing soon, along with a full revamp of our website and social media presence. With 50% of all profits made going to Guan and Lui, Home(less)Made aims to create a platform of opportunity for guests to become more financially independent, enabling them to build the lives they deserve. Luis and Guan have formed a close and supportive friendship through their shared experience with Home(less) Made. With the support of
The Barons Court Project, Guan and Lui have begun to move forward and see a promising future again.

“I feel that the Enterprise Development Programme will have a lasting legacy on our charity long after the course has finished”

Paper Cup Project has been running for over four years, and we registered as a charity almost 18 months ago. We are a volunteer led charity, and we offer food, drink, clothing, toiletries and most importantly, support and signposting to rough sleepers and people experiencing homelessness across Liverpool, via our outreach. Our group also works hard to challenge stigmas around homelessness to discourage hate crimes.

Each week we help around 40 people, some need food and dry socks, others just need to have a chat, or to be linked up with the right services. We have also assisted several young runaways and helped them to get back to their families.

Our funding so far has been largely via supporter donations, and a small grant from the lottery. We are a small charity and are growing, thanks largely to the support and investment from EDP.

We are a well-respected charity in Liverpool, both with supporters and also the City Council. Our partners include local media, The Liverpool Echo and The Guide who have shared our stories, as well as various restaurants across Liverpool who have given us funding in kind by providing food.

Covid 19 has seen a change in the way we operate as a charity. Just two days before lockdown was announced in March, our team went out and referred the remaining rough sleepers into the emergency accommodation that was being provided by the council. We were involved with conversations with the local authority on what measures would be taken and we worked in tandem to get people inside. One man won’t engage with services so we accommodated him at our own cost and dropped food each week. We also amended our outreach so that rather than going out as a group, individual members of the team have been going to hostels and temporary accommodation with supplies such as clothing and toiletries. This has continued and will do so for the foreseeable, until infection rates decrease and it is safer.

Our enterprise activity is a coffee shop – Paper Cup Coffee. We are in the planning stage, and have recently secured an offer of premises in the city centre. Our coffee shop will offer training opportunities and support to vulnerably housed people and those currently experiencing homelessness who have been recently accommodated during the pandemic. We are currently putting plans into place and thanks to EDP, now have a full-time staff member who can develop the project.

The project has only been in development since September, and it feels like within that time we have been able to achieve a lot! Originally, the council had offered to provide us with premises, but the conversations ground to a halt, and as time was pressing on, we were worried about the plans falling apart. We decided in September to announce in the press what our plans were. On the back of the announcement, we were offered premises at a great city centre location from a local business, which we accepted. We are now waiting to sign the lease, start decorating, recruiting and hope to open in January.

We received support from EDP in the form of a grant and business workshops, which has enabled us to meet other organisations from across the country who are doing incredible and inspiring work across the homelessness sector. The grant of £30,000 that we received was invaluable, and enabled us to use the money to partially fund the salary of a full time staff member. Previously, the work was being done alongside a full time job for another charity, which meant that activities were limited due to time restrictions. The funding has meant that we are able to dedicate the time needed to fully develop the enterprise, and to put all the building blocks in place.

The workshops and peer support have been a huge asset, and we have linked in with people who already run similar enterprises who can advise on what has worked for them and any mistakes they can share which we can learn from. It has also been a help with stockists – another peer runs a group of coffee shops in London, and is branching out into supplying beans, we are looking for a supplier for our shop so this is a perfect synergy. Without the EDP funding, there is no way we could have fully developed the coffee shop idea. We have been planning the enterprise for a year, but as there was no full time staff member to drive it on, it was very difficult, and taking a long time, Over the past two months, thanks to the funding, we have done so much, and are much further on than we would have been. We are a tiny charity, and it would have taken us a long time to be able to fund a full time member of staff without this funding.

I feel that the Enterprise Development Programme will have a lasting legacy on our charity long after the course has finished. It’s a privilege to be part of such an incredible group of people who are working hard to tackle homelessness and also to provide social value for their surrounding communities. These links will carry on beyond the course, and I plan to visit all of their projects when it is allowed. The whole experience for our charity has been a once in a lifetime experience so far, with so many positive outcomes. Our mentor Murphy from Homeless Link is always on hand with her calm assurance when there are wobbles, and the people running the courses have been experts who we would never have had access to who have shared their valuable experiences. We can never thank EDP and Homeless Link enough, and we hope that when our enterprise launches that it will change lives and be a great example of the difference that this support has made.

COVID-19 Resources for EDP Grantees

Originally published via Social Investment Business

This page covers all the areas for which customers can access support from the government and the wider sector in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information on the measures detailed below, visit the dedicated government guidance on support for businesses here.

This page will be updated regularly to reflect any new developments or announcements.

Government Advice on the UK Lockdown

The UK is currently in lockdown, with the public issued advice as of 23 March to stay at home and to:

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work
  • Stay 2 meters (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Read more of the Government’s advice on staying at home here. For many charities and social enterprises, this advice will mean a drastic shift in their service delivery. We’ve included resources on coping with this – including remote working – further on down the page.

Government £750 million Coronavirus support package for Charities

On 8 April 2020, the Chancellor announced a £750 million package of support to ensure charities can continue vital work during the coronavirus outbreak.  £750 million of funding will be made available for frontline charities across the UK.

This includes:

  • £360 million direct from Government departments, allocated to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis
  • £370 million will be made available for smaller to medium sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England. This will support organisations at the heart of local communities, including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice.
  • The Government will match donations to the National Emergencies Trust as part of the BBC’s Big Night In fundraiser – pledging a minimum of £20 million.

The £360 million direct funding from government will be allocated by government departments, including:

  • Hospices to help increase capacity and give stability to the sector.
  • St John’s Ambulance
  • Victims charities, including domestic abuse
  • Vulnerable children charities
  • Citizens Advice

The Government is working to identify priority recipients, aiming to disburse funding within weeks. The National Lottery Community Fund grant pot is expected within a similar timeframe.

Government Support for Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Update: the Government has created a dedicated website to help navigate through the different forms of government support currently available for businesses. This also includes case studies, videos and signposting to the latest coronavirus information and support. They have also published a list of support for businesses from outside Government.

Overview of Support Measures

  • Statutory sick pay refund for SMEs
  • Business rates relief (see eligibility criteria)
  • Cash grants for small businesses (see eligibility criteria)
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • Mortgage payment holidays of up to three months
  • Insurance
  • UK government to pay up to 80% of employee wages (see eligibility criteria)
  • VAT deferral for all UK businesses

Statutory Sick Pay Refund

  • Businesses will receive a refund for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) covering two weeks per employee who has been off work because of COVID-19.
  • SSP is currently paid at £94.25 / week and new legislation will mean that employees are eligible from day one of sickness.
  • The eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to self-isolators comes into force (i.e. after Coronavirus Bill is passed – see below).
  • Employers can reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP.

Who is eligible for this support:

  • Any business with under 250 employees

How to access this support:

  • Employers should maintain records of staff absences, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note.
  • Government will work with employers to set up the repayment mechanism as soon as possible.

Business Rates Relief

  • No business rates for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the tax year 2020-2021, irrespective of rateable value.
  • Businesses that received retail discount in 2019-2020 tax year will be rebilled by local authority asap

Eligibility criteria

  • All businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector – the government published guidance for local authorities on determining eligibility criteria for business rate relief here.
  • Eligible pubs will also be entitled to a business rate discount of £5,000.

How to access this support

  • Enquiries on eligibility for reliefs should be directed to local authority. Guidance on business rates relief will be published by 20 March.

Cash Grants for Small Businesses

  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF): £10,000 – £25,000 cash grants (dependent on size) available for the smallest businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors.
  • Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF): £10,000 grant funding for small businesses that already pay little or no business rates (because they already receive Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief).

Eligibility criteria

  • RHLGF: £25,000 grants – retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from premises with a rateable value between £15,000 – £51,000. £10,000 grants available for businesses operating from premises with a ratable value under £15,000.
  • Update: Any business that is eligible for the Expanded Retail Discount (see guidance) will be able to access RHLGF, this includes: charity shops, museums, galleries, historic houses, sport charity facilities, theatres, public halls, and clubhouses, clubs and institutions. More information can be found on the Charity Tax Group website.
    Clarification: Charities which would otherwise meet this criteria but whose business rate bill for 11 March had been reduced to nil by a local discretionary award should still be considered to be eligible for the RHLGF.
  • SBGF – £10,000 grants for businesses currently receiving for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

How to access this support:

  • RHLGF: Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses should contact their local authority with any enquiries on eligibility or access to this relief.
  • SBGF: Businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief and Rural Rate Relief will be contacted by their local authority, there is no need to apply.
  • Update: the government has published guidance on the eligibility and delivery of the RHLGF and SBGF  
  • Update: the Government has published guidance for businesses setting out details of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

  • To support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash flow-pressures by seeking additional finance.
  • This will be delivered by the British Business Bank and will support loans of up to £5m.
  • The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan to give lenders confidence.
  • Businesses can access the first 6 months of finance interest free (the Government will cover the interest payments for six months).
  • As well as loans there will be many other types of finance supported by the programme, depending on the partner provider – more information on accredited lenders and partners can be found here.

Eligibility criteria:

  • UK based, with turnover of no more than £41m per annum.
  • Operate within an eligible industrial sector (a small number of sectors are not eligible for support – see eligibility restrictions here).
  • Be able to confirm that they have not received State aid beyond €200,000 equivalent over the current and previous two fiscal years.
  • Have a sound borrowing proposal, but insufficient security to meet the lender’s requirements.
  • The big four banks have agreed that they will not take personal guarantees as security for lending below £250,000 under CBILS

How to access this support:

  • The scheme has launched – more information can be found on the British Business Bank website.

SIB: Recovery & Resilience Loan Fund

  • SIB, alongside Big Society Capital and other social investment partners, will be managing the £25 million Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF) providing repayable finance to charities and social enterprises directly affected by COVID-19.
  • RRLF will offer emergency loans with flexibility in terms, including: 12-month interest-free and no arrangement fee, with no personal guarantees required.
  • The fund provides access to the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme. SIB will issue the loan, working initially with delivery partners Big Issue Invest, Charity Bank and Social and Sustainable Capital.
  • The initial £25 million will be provided by Big Society Capital, who is aiming to repurpose up to a further £50 million to address the needs of charities and social enterprises.
  • More information on the RRLF can be found here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • All UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying up to 80% of their employees’ salary under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to safeguard potential redundancies.
  • This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but are being kept on the pay roll, which is also known as ‘furloughed workers’: HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages (up to £2,500 per month).
  • To qualify, workers should not undertake work while they are furloughed, though they will remain employed.
  • The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March and is primarily open for three months, but will be prolonged if necessary.
  • Guidance for employers on the scheme can be found here, guidance for employees can be found here. There is also an eligibility checker.

Eligibility criteria:

  • All UK-wide employers with a PAYE scheme will be eligible – this includes the public sector, Local Authorities and charities.

How to access this support:

  • HMRC are working to set up a repayment system as a priority, but in the meantime, you will need to:
    • Identify affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and let your employees that you will be making this change – any change to the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may need to be subject to negotiation.
    • The new online portal is now live.

HMRC Time To Pay Service

  • Businesses and self-employed in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support through HMRC’s Time to Pay Service.
  • This allows businesses and the self-employed to defer tax payments over an agreed period of time.
  • HMRC have detailed guidance on Time to Pay arrangements here.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Arrangements are made on a case by case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

How to access this support:

  • HMRC have a dedicated coronavirus helpline for advice and support on 0800 0159 559 – opening hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturday 8am to 4pm.

Insurance Arrangements

  • Businesses with cover for pandemics and government-ordered closure will be covered after the Government and Association of British Insurers agreed that the advice from 17 March to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim.

Eligibility criteria

  • Insurance policy with pandemic business interruption coverage.
  • However, most businesses are unlikely to be covered as standard interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

How to access this support:

  • The Association of British Insurers advises businesses to check their cover and discuss concerns with brokers.

VAT Deferral

  • The Government will defer the next quarter of VAT payments for firms.
  • All businesses will be given until the end of financial year to repay any liabilities.

Eligibility criteria

  • No business will pay VAT from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

How to access this support:

  • This support is available automatically, with no applications required.

Protection from eviction for commercial tenants

  • Commercial tenants who cannot pay rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction
  • No business will automatically forfeit their leis or be forced out of premises if they miss a payment up to 30 June 2020 – this could be extended by Government if needed.
  • This is not a rental holiday – tenants are still liable for rent.

Eligibility criteria

  • All commercial tenants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

How to access this support:

  • This will come into force with the Coronavirus Bill – no action is required.

Government Support for the Self-Employed Affected by COVID-19

On Thursday 26 March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined a package of support measures targeted at the self-employed.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

  • Self-employed workers are allowed to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months – this can be extended if necessary.

Eligibility criteria:

  • ­Must have submitted Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the year 2018/19
  • Must have traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • Are trading when applying to the scheme, or would be except for COVID-19
  • Intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to coronavirus.
  • Have trading profits less than £50,000 and more than half total income from self-employment.
  • If only trading between 2016-2019, HMRC will only use those years for which a Self-Assessment tax return has been filed.
  • If a tax return for 2018-19 has not been already submitted, the deadline to do so is by 23 April 2020.

How to access this support:

  • This scheme is not open yet – HMRC will get in contact with those who are eligible with an invitation to apply online. Individuals should not contact HMRC now.
  • More information on the Self-employed Income Support Scheme can be found here.
  • MoneySavingExpert has also published helpful guidance and FAQs on this support package.

Government Guidance for Organisations

The Government has published guidance for organisations working in specific sectors which might be relevant to SIB customers, these can be accessed below:

Coronavirus Bill

The Coronavirus Bill was introduced on 19 March 2020. This brings in new powers to boost NHS resources, ease legislative rules and support businesses and workers.

Some relevant aspects for SIB customers include:

  • Remove restrictions to allow recently those who have recently left care roles to ensure care of vulnerable people and children can continue.
  • Local authorities could be asked to prioritise social services to ensure most urgent and serious care needs are met – meaning some people might not have social care needs met during peak outbreak.

The full explanatory notes on the Coronavirus Bill can be viewed here.

NCVO have written a useful blog analysing what the coronavirus means for charities.

Updates from the Charity Commission

The Charity Commission have issued a statement detailing that charities can contact them to request an extension to their annual return deadline. They have also reassured charities that their approach to regulation during this period will be as flexible and supportive as possible.

To get in touch with the Charity Commission, you can call them Monday-Friday between 9am-5pm on 0300 066 9197.

Updates from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) holds responsibility for civil society, the Secretary of State is Rt Hon Oliver Dowden MP, and the Minister for Civil Society is Baroness Barran.

In a press release from 18 March 2020 they announced that the department is working closely with the civil society sector – including the National Emergencies Trust, NCVO and the British Red Cross – on how to galvanise volunteers and coordinate help to those who need it.

More details are expected to be announced on this over the coming days.

Updates from the National Lottery Community Fund

On 3 April 2020, the NLCF have a released a statement on funding during COVID-19.

All funding decisions for the next six months will prioritise getting funding to groups best placed to support their communities, focusing initially on existing grant-holders and applicatnts.

Priority will be given to:

  • Organisations supporting people at high risk from COVID-19
  • Organisations supporting communities most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a direct result of COVID-19
  • Organisations with high potential to support communities with the direct and indirect impact of COVID-19

Further updates from the NLCF will be hosted on their dedicated COVID-19 page.

Update – On 8 April 2020, it was announced that the National Lottery Community Fund will be receiving a significant grant pot from the Government’s £370 million charity funding package for small-medium charities in England.

More information about this fund is expected over the coming weeks.

National COVID-19 Support Funds

Arts & Culture

Arts Council: Emergency Funding Package

  • The Arts Council are making £160m of emergency funding available for organisations and individuals in need during this crisis.
  • £90m will be available to National Portfolio Organisations, £50m for cultural organisations
    not currently in receipt of Arts Council funding, and £20m will be made available for individuals working in the cultural sector, including artists, creative practitioners and freelancers.
  • They have also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations who are currently receiving their funding.

Authors Emergency Fund

  • Emergency grant fund for professional authors in the UK, including writers, illustrators, literary translators, scriptwriters, poets, journalists and others, for whom author-related activities make up a substantial amount of their annual income.
  • Grants are likely to be up to £2,000 and designed to meet urgent need.
  • More information here.

Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund

  • BFI and the Film & TV Charity have partnered to create a new COVID-19 emergency fund to support the creative community affected by the pandemic.
  • Established with £1m from Netflix, the fund will provide emergency short term relief to active workers and freelancers who have been affected by the closure of productions.
  • More information can be found here.

Help for Musicians – Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund

  • A new £5m fund specifically created to alleviate some of the immediate financial pressures that professional musicians may be facing.
  • Eligible musicians are able to apply for a one-off payment of £500 – more information can be found here.

Youth Music Emergency Fund

  • Offering additional support to music-making organisations affected by coronavirus. Grants of up to £10,000 are available and organisations do not need to have held a Youth Music grant previously to apply.
  • More information on the emergency fund and applications can be found here.

CDFIs & Credit Unions

Community Investment Enterprise Facility

  • £30m Community Investment Enterprise Facility established by Big Society Capital and managed by Social Investment Scotland to help meet the needs of CDFIs, build a better understanding of the financial and social impact performance of CDFI lending, and test models of funding for CDFIs to attract other mission driven investors.
  • It will invest in up to five CDFIs across the UK to meet the needs of underserved small enterprises that have a positive impact in the communities where they operate.
  • It is anticipated that the initial round of investment will be into partners who helped develop the Facility with the intention to expand the reach over time through this facility or by future initiatives.
  • To find out more information, contact Social Investment Scotland.

Fair4All Finance – COVID-19 Resilience and Affordable Credit Scale-up Programme

  • Providing up to £5m in grant funding to CDFIs and credit unions in England
  • An expanded Affordable Credit Scale-up Programme will help the sector to plat its part in the 10x growth challenge in the delivery of affordable credit to vulnerable people
  • More information here.

Charities and other organisations supporting vulnerable groups / communities

CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund

  • Fund to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by COVID-19 – grants of up to £10,000 are available.
  • This is a rapid response fund, aiming to make payments to selected organisations within 14 days of application.
  • Eligible organisations should have a charitable purpose and charitable activities, with an income of £1m or less in the last financial year.
  • More information on eligibility, timescales and applications can be found here.

Clothworkers’ Emergency Capital Programme

  • Small capital grants of up to £5,000 for essential capital items to adapt or increase services in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Priority will be given to organisations supporting vulnerable and ‘at risk’ groups within the Clothworker’s programme areas during this period.
  • More information here.

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

  • The Esmee Fairbairn foundation is making an additional £16m of funding available this year in response the COVID-19 crisis.
  • £14m has been allocated in fast-response grants to be offered to some of the organisations they currently work with across all sectors.
  • £2m is being made available for contributions to emergency funding schemes in collaboration with others.
  • They are closed to new applications so they can focus support on the organisations they currently work with.
  • More information here.

The Fore & Trusts Fund – RAFT Fund

  • Rapid Action by the Fore and Trusts Fund will provide grants for high- quality, well-managed small charities and social enterprises with great leadership doing vital work in their communities.
  • Initially accepting 500 applications, with places allocated on first come first served basis – open to registered charities, CICs, CIOs and CBSs with annual incomes below £500,000
  • More information here.

Greggs Foundation – Coronavirus Emergency Appeal

  • Urgent food parcels, hardship payments and small grants (average £500) to charities, community groups and schools supporting the most vulnerable people in communities.
  • More information here.

Halifax Foundations – Covid-19 Related Grants

  • Halifax Foundation has stated that Covid-19 related applications designed to support the community at this time of crisis will be prioritised and turned around as quickly as possible.
  • Small (up to £2,500) and medium (£2,500 – £10,000) grants available.
  • More information here.

Leathersellers’ Company – Small Grants Programme

  • Fast track application process for small one-off grants up to £3,000 for small charities supporting: the homeless (or those at risk of homelessness); provision of food and essential supplies; victims of domestic violence; or nursing care to vulnerable patients.
  • Decisions will be made within 4 weeks of applying (though it is expected to be less than this) – applications will close on 11th May 2020.
  • More information on eligibility and applications here.

John Lewis Partnership Community Support Fund

  • The John Lewis Partnership has launched a £1m Community Support Fund to be distributed by Waitrose shops to local communities.
  • Teams in each shop will work together with their communities to choose the best way to use the fund – help could include setting up additional local delivery services to support those self-isolating, the vulnerable, the elderly and carers, or delivering boxes of staples to local care homes and community groups.
  • For more information email Hannah Chance, Communications Manager,

National Emergencies Trust

  • The National Emergencies Trust (NET) has launched an appeal to raise funds for local charities and grassroots organisations that can provide support to people in the quickest way.
  • Individuals and charities should not apply directly to the NET for funds. Grant aid and how to apply to a local community foundation will be available from 23 March 2020.

Neighbourly Community Fund

  • Neighbourly have launched the Neigbourly Community Fund, which is offering micro grants of up to £400 to support good causes helping communities affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.
  • To apply, please note you already need to be registered as a Neighbourly member.

MoneySavingExpert – Coronavirus Charity Help Fund

  • MoneySavingExpert’s Martin Lewis has provided £1m from his personal charity fund to provide grants of £5,000 to £20,000 to small registered charities, or local arms of bigger charities, across the UK to help with specific UK coronavirus-related poverty relief projects.
  • On Tuesday 24th March it was announced that the fund had been expanded to £3m.
  • Applications close at 11.59pm on Wednesday 25 March 2020 – the application form can be accessed here.
    Update: this fund is currently closed to new applications.

Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund

  • Short term fund to support local communities – they have created a streamlined application and payment process to make it easier to get funds distributed quickly.
  • The fund will award single payments of £500 to organisations supporting vulnerable groups.
  • Applications in some areas are currently on hold due to high demand – more information can be found here.

Children & Young People

Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust

  • The Trust will make grant to organisations working to improve the life chances for some of the most disadvantaged children in England and Wales by investing in early intervention (0-3 year olds) and preventative work.
  • As a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Trust has changed its application guidelines and processes. These are intended to assist small-medium charities with small sums of unrestricted funding during the pandemic.
  • More information on eligibility and applications here.

Food & Agriculture

Funding Enlightened Agriculture – LEAP: Small emergency loan programme

  • For a period of 3 months from the 1st April, small unsecured loans from £5,000 – £20,000.
  • 3-month capital and interest holiday, followed by 12-month capital holiday
  • Interest rate: 5%; term: 5 years and 3 months – no arrangement fees
  • The focus of this fund will be on established community food businesses and agroecological growers and can be used for anything that helps them navigate the crisis.
  • More information on eligibility and agriculture can be here.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund – Rural Response Emergency Grants Programme

  • Providing grants of up to £2,500 for emergency funding from farming and rural community support groups.
  • Organisations are eligible for grants if they are: (i) providing emergency relief to vulnerable or isolated individuals, (ii) providing support to farmers and farm businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, or (iii) helping rural or farming communities to cope with the pandemic.
  • More information on eligibility and applications here – applications close on 15 April 2020.

Wrap: COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grants

  • DEFRA is making £3.25m available through the Resource Action Fund administered by WRAP – this well be delivered in phases.
  • Phase 1 – WRAP approached a target list of small redistribution organisations who have previously applied for funding to ascertain their immediate need for funding support.
  • Phase 2 provides funding opportunities for small surplus food redistributors
  • Phase 3 is aimed at medium-large operators
  • More information on the fund here.


Crisis Emergency Grants Fund

  • Fund to support local groups who are financially affected by additional demands on their resources and who have expanded their provision to meet the current needs of those experiencing homelessness across the UK.
  • Awards up to £5k for short term responses to the coronavirus emergency; awards up to £50k to fund long term needs and potential expansion or change in service delivery.
  • More information on eligibility and applications can be found here.


Historic England: COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

  • Grants of up to £25,000 will be available to small heritage organisations – including voluntary organisations and self-employed contractors – to survive the current crisis.
  • Grants of £50,000 are also available for projects and activities that reduce risks to heritage by providing information, resources and skills.
  • More information can be found here.

National Lottery Heritage Fund: Heritage Emergency Fund

  • £50m fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus outbreak – to address immediate pressures over the next three – six months for organisations most in need.
  • £3,000 – £50,000 grants available, priority given where there is limited or no access to other sources of support; where heritage is most at risk; and where an organisation is at risk of severe financial crisis due to COVID-19
  • More information on the fund can be accessed here.

Mental Health

Mental Health Response Fund

  • £5m support from the Department for Health & Social Care has gone to set up the Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund.
  • This is to help VCS organisations based in England continue to provide mental health services – or provide additional support.
  • Grants of £20,000 or £50,000 are available for projects lasting up to 12 months.
  • More information can be found here.

Research & Campaigns

Standard Life Foundation – Coronavirus Pandemic Fast Track Applications

  • For research, policy and campaigning work – grants ranging from £5,000 to larger amounts for projects.
  • Will fund a range of strategic work that has the potential to benefit large numbers of people within the UK. This work must aim to create a step change in policy, practice, attitudes and/or behaviour. It includes policy work, campaigning, research, public attitudinal work, and improving practice and design.
  • No fixed deadline – more information on applications here.

Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs

Facebook Small Business Grants Programme

  • Facebook are offering $100m in cash grants and ad credits to businesses experiencing disruptions resulting from COVID-19 in over 30 countries.
  • They will begin taking applications in the coming weeks – sign up here for updates.

The Prince’s Trust and Natwest Enterprise Relief Fund

  • £5m Enterprise Relief Fund offering grants to 18 to 30 year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own businesses.
  • In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone
  • Register interest for grants and tailored support here.


Sport England: Community Emergency Fund

  • New £20m fund to help community sport and physical activity organsiations who are experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to coronavirus
  • Grants of between £300 to £10,000 are available – in exceptional circumstances awards of more than £10,000 will be considered.
  • This is part of a wider £195m package to help sport and physical activity through coronavirus.
  • More information on eligibility and applications can be found here.

Tech for Good

NHSX – TechForce19 Challenge

  • NHSX is calling on all innovators who can support the elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating during COVID-19 to apply for government funding of up to £25,000 to test their solution
  • The following areas are of interest: remote social care, optimising staffing in care and volunteering sectors, and mental health
  • This competition is aimed at helping in the community, and they are not looking for solutions that are trying to solve clinical problems or require integration with NHS systems.
  • More information here.

Support in Scotland

Third Sector Resilience Fund

  • A £20m emergency fund for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations working in Scotland.
  • It will support organisations that already deliver services and products but find themselves in financial difficulties directly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The fund will be delivered by Firstport, Social Investment Scotland and the Corra Foundation, providing grants between £5,000 – £10,000. In addition there will be a further £5m available in 0% interest loans starting at £50,000.
  • There is more information and an eligibility checker on the SCVO website here.

Business Gateway – Virtual and Local Business Support (COVID-19 Pandemic)

Support in Northern Island

Coronavirus Community Fund

  • Fund supporting community groups, particular in smaller geographical communities.
  • Encouraging a partnership approach, and one application from one lead organisation, rather than a number of separate applications.
  • Grants of between £1,000 to £10,000 available. Priority will be given to organisations with income levels below £500,000.
  • More information here.

Support in Wales

Community Foundation Wales (Wales)

  • Appeal for funds to support charities, community groups and non-profits working in Wales. Launched with an initial £200,000 from the Community Foundation Wales
  • More information here.

Regional COVID-19 Support Funds

Bedfordshire & Luton – Bedfordshire Community Foundation – Coronavirus Emergency Fund

  • The Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation has set up an emergency £180K fund from corporate donors to support local charities, social enterprises and community organisations.

Berkshire – Berkshire Community Foundation

  • Grant fund for up to £5,0000 for local charities and smaller organisations in Berkshire providing support to the most vulnerable and isolated.
  • More information here.

Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire – Quartet Community Foundation – Coronavirus Response Fund

  • Grants up to £5,000 for single organisations and up to £20,000 for partnerships – work must support one or more of the following groups: the elderly, people with disabilities or underlying health conditions, the homeless, low income families, refugees and asylum seekers, people experiencing food poverty.
  • More information here.

Cambridgeshire – Cambridgeshire Community Foundation – Coronavirus Community Fund

  • Grants between £1,000 – £5,000, aiming to be processed in 5-10 days.
  • Focusing on organisations to deal with issues in community affecting older people and the most vulnerable.
  • More information here.

Cheshire & Warrington – Cheshire Community Foundation – Covid-19 Response Programme

  • Fund to support charitable projects providing activities that help people self-isolating, provide funding to coordinate response and support volunteers, and increase capacity for organisations providing emergency support, such as foodbanks or benefits advice.
  • More information here.

Cornwall – Cornwall Community Foundation – Emergency Fund

  • Grants ranging from £500 – £3,000 – primarily for organisations that are working with vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. These are to cover the costs for additional work and in response to the needs of members or beneficiaries.
  • No panel dates or a set deadline for this fund – applications are aiming to be turned around within a few days.
  • More information here.

Coventry & Warwickshire – Heart of England Community Foundation – Coronavirus Resilience Fund

Cumbria – Cumbria Community foundation – COVID-19 Response Fund

  • Grants for groups providing charitable activities in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Cumbria – offering smaller grants (circa £250) to community-based groups, mutual aid and self-help groups, and larger grants (over £,1000) to organisations offering district or county level support.
  • More information here.

Derbyshire – Foundation Derbyshire – Coronavirus Fund

  • Subject to available funds, initial focus on providing £1,000 to food banks and befriending services who will play a role in helping those in self-isolation.
  • More information here.

Devon – Devon Community Foundation – Devon Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund

  • Fund for small charities or community organisations in Devon supporting vulnerable groups affected by the coronavirus outbreak
  • More information here.

Dorset – Dorset Community Foundation

  • Launched appeal for coronavirus fund to assist charities in Dorset
  • More information here.

Essex – Essex Community Foundation – Coronavirus Response and Recovery Programme

  • Emergency grants of up to £15,000 – with priority given to those delivering vital services to older and vulnerable people, organisations helping to relieve pressure on public services, and those coordinating a local community response.
  • More information here.

Gloucestershire – Gloucestershire Community Foundation – Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund

  • Grants between £1,000 – £5,000 with a priority for coordinated volunteer programmes, and organisations picking up extra demand such as foodbanks, counselling services, advice organisations and befriending services
  • More information here.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight – Hampshire & Isle of White Community Foundation

  • Launched ‘We’re All Together’ Coronavirus appeal to award grants to help local charities, voluntary groups and community groups. Has already received £125,000 from VIVID (housing association.
  • More information here.

Hertfordshire – Hertfordshire Community Foundation

  • Launched Coronavirus Disaster Relief Fund appeal for local charities and community organisations in Hertfordshire.
  • More information here.

Kent – Kent Community Foundation – Coronavirus Emergency Fund

  • The Kent Community Foundation has created a fund for applications for grants up to £10,000.
  • Priority will be given to constituted community groups, e.g. charities and CICs with an average income of less than £200,000 who are supporting isolated older people and the most vulnerable.

Leicestershire & Rutland – Leicestershire & Rutland Community Foundation – Coronavirus Support Fund

  • Grants between £500 – £2,500 primarily for organisations providing direct services for older people, the vulnerable, and people who are isolated and lack a support network.
  • Followed by organisations providing services for people with low / insecure incomes, people with mental health difficulties and people facing domestic violence.
  • More information here.

Lincolnshire – Lincolnshire Community Foundation

  • Launched appeal for COVID-19 crisis fund – aiming to provide £500 to £3,000 grants subject to fundraising.
  • More information here.

London – London Funders – London Community Response Fund

  • London Funders have launched an Emergency Support Fund of £9m to support London’s voluntary sector. London Funders will also be working with wider funders to bring more money together for the fund.
  • There will be waves of funding – the first on urgent needs (small grants up to £5,000), though later funding will support organisations to deliver services in new ways to support communities and to ensure that longer-term needs are considered by the funding community.
  • More information on eligibility and how to apply can be found here.

Milton Keynes – Milton Keynes Community Foundation – MK Emergency Appeal Fund

  • Grants up to £2,000 subject to funding availability, to help organisations with charitable purposes to relieve hardship caused directly or indirectly by the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • More information here.

Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales – Steve Morgan Foundation

  • Philanthropist and Businessman Steve Morgan has pledged £1m a week to charities working with the most vulnerable during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Norfolk – Norfolk Community Foundation

  • Launched appeal for Covid-19 Community Response Fund to support local charities.
  • More information here.

Northamptonshire – Northamptonshire Community Foundation

  • Launched fundraising appeal for Response and Recovery Fund for supporting vulnerable people in the county.
  • More information here.

Oxfordshire – Oxfordshire Community Foundation

  • Launched appeal for Community Resilience Fund, kickstarted with a direct donation from the Indigo Trust.
  • More information here.

Somerset – Somerset Community Foundation

  • Launched Somerset Coronavirus Appeal to raise funds for local charitable groups.
  • More information here.

Stoke & Staffordshire – Community Foundation

  • Grants up to £1,000 available for local organisations supporting the costs of providing vital services.
  • More information here.

Suffolk – Suffolk Community Foundation

  • Launched appeal for donations towards the Suffolk Coronavirus Community Fund.
  • More information here.

Surrey – Community Foundation for Surrey – Coronavirus Response Fund

  • Grants up to £5,000 for community and voluntary organisations providing support to the most vulnerable / isolated including: the elderly, people with disabilities, people with mental health needs, people on low incomes, and families with young children.
  • More information here.

Sussex – Sussex Community Foundation – Sussex Crisis Fund

  • Emergency grants of up to £5,000 for community and voluntary sector in Sussex
  • More information here.

Tyne & Wear and Northumberland – Community Foundation – Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund

  • The Community Foundation has set up this fund to support older people and other vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • It will support local charities across Tyne & Wear and Northumberland in two stages: response (getting money to organisations that support older people and the vulnerable), then recovery (fund wider local charities and community organisations who are affected by the outbreak).
  • More information on the fund can be found here.

Tyne & Wear and Northumberland– Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner – Coronavirus Response Fund

  • £200,000 fund to support large and small charities who are struggling to retain their offer of support to victims and communities in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Any local charity, voluntary, social enterprises and community groups may apply – funding projects that support victims, improve people’s lives to prevent crime, or build community resilience.
  • More information here.

Wilshire & Swindon – Wiltshire Community Foundation

  • Launched appeal for Coronavirus response fund to provide emergency help to voluntary groups in the county.
  • More information here.

West Berkshire & North Hampshire – Greenham Trust – COVID-19 Emergency Fund

  • The Greenham Trust has announced a COVID-19 Emergency Fund for local charities and voluntary organisations who are supporting the elderly and vulnerable people.

West Yorkshire – Community Foundation For Calderdale

  • The Community Foundation for Calderdale are offering grants of £1000 to local charities to help the most vulnerable.

York, North Yorkshire, the East Riding of Yorkshire and Hull – Two Ridings Community Foundation – Coronavirus Community Fund

  • Grants of up to £2,000 available to voluntary organisations, community groups, small charities or other non-profits dealing with emerging issues in the community as a result of coronavirus
  • More information here.

Additional Resources and Advice

Bates Wells – Coronavirus Legal Insights

Coronavirus Funders List – 100+ Charity Emergency Funders (updated regularly)

Coronavirus Tech Handbook

  • library of resources for organisations to collaborate on an agile and sophisticated response to the coronavirus outbreak and sequential impacts. It is a rapidly evolving resource with thousands of active expert contributors.

Community Business COVID-19 Mutual Aid Group

  • A mutual aid group run by and for community businesses – running a weekly Zoom call every Tuesday at 11am to discuss issues and share best practice with peers.
  • More information on the group and additional resources can be found here.

Covid-19 Funders

  • Page produced by London Funders, the membership body for funders and investors in London’s civil society. Page brings together advice for funders during Covid-19

Charity Bank – COVID-19 Resource Hub for Charities and Social Enterprises

Charity Excellence Framework

Charity Finance Group Guidance

  • CFG provides financial management advice & support to the VCSE sector. This page sets out its COVID-19 guidance to charities.

Charity Tax Group

Civil Society Magazine – Advice on working remotely

  • Civil Society have written a ‘how-to’ article with helpful advice on remote working during the Coronavirus.

Cooperatives UK

Fundraising Regulator Events Guidance

  • This page sets out the Fundraising Regulator’s advice on fundraising during COVID-19.

Institute of Fundraising


  • Offering online peer support sessions for leaders of smaller voluntary organisations experiencing stress and a prolonged period of uncertainty.

Lloyds Bank Academy


  • Locality members can access support, advice and webinars here. They have also published a briefing note for their members.
  • They held a webinar on 24 March on COVID-19 updates, evidence and support for members which can be viewed here. The most recent webinar from Friday 3rd April can be viewed here.

London Funders

  • London Funders have set up a dedicated website on behalf of their wider network of COVID-19 funders with sector news and updates.

National Business Response Network

  • Business in the Community are convening a unique network of purposeful leaders to share insight, expertise and create innovative programmes that deliver impact.
  • This aims to support voluntary and community organisations with an online platform for asks and offers.


North East Growth Hub

  • The North East Growth Hub have produced a COVID-19 Toolkit with the latest guidance for businesses and employers, as well as a survey to help them provide the appropriate support during this period.


School for Social Entrepreneurs

The Social Change Agency

  • The Social Change Agency are providing a fiscal hosting platform to support community groups and collectives set up in response to COVID-19 with financial administration.

UK Community Foundations


  • UMI have released advice and support on their website focusing on how to finance businesses through COVID-19.

Volunteering Matters

  • Volunteering Matters has put out a call to businesses across the UK to identify / volunteer staff with limited or reduced capacity to help support the needs of the charity sector over the coming months.
  • These include skill areas such as: public relations and digital communications; general IT and system skills; risk and health assessors; logistics; other pro-bono servies.
  • There is a survey for businesses to complete – Volunteering Matters will hold a database and help to assign support to areas of need.

Relevant Statements on COVID-19

COVID-19: Update for Grantees

The Enterprise Development Programme partnership has been considering how best to continue the programme in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. We recognise that this is an extremely difficult time for charities and social enterprises, and we have therefore made some changes to our programme timelines. We continue to monitor the programme to ensure we are adapting our processes suitably for each of our sectors during this time. Please visit the individual sector pages for more information.  

Association of Mental Health Providers
Centre for Youth Impact
Equally Ours
Homeless Link

Voluntary Action Leicester Conference: 12 May (Postponed due to COVID-19)

Photo by The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash

We regret to announce that we are postponing the Enterprise Development Conference on 12 May due to COVID-19.

This is due to government advice and suggested control measures regarding COVID-19. As the event would have brought together more than 100 people, we felt it best to postpone the event for now. 

Many thanks for your understanding and apologies for the inconvenience. We will be in touch with details on the future date in due course (most probably September or October). If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Hetal Jani (

When: Tuesday 12 May

Time: 10.00 – 16.00

Where: Voluntary Action Leicester – 9 Newarke St, Leicester LE1 5SN

Join us for a one-day Enterprise Development conference on Tuesday 12 May 2020 at Voluntary Action Leicester to co-learn alongside other charities and social enterprises about enterprise development! 

Are you a charity or social enterprise looking to become more business-like or enterprising? Do you recognise the importance of enterprise development and find yourself armed with an enterprising idea but need help to move it forward? If you are interested in transitioning towards enterprise activity, or are currently in the process of transitioning and are keen to share knowledge and experience, then we would love to see you there!

Building on the success of the pilot year of our Enterprise Development Programme, Access – the Foundation for Social Investment is organising this Enterprise Development conference as a way to build capacity, confidence and collaboration across multiple charitable sectors to openly discuss and learn about enterprise development, and – most importantly – its role in building the financial autonomy and resilience of the sector. The Enterprise Development Programme is currently open to organisations in the Youth, Homelessness, Equality and Mental Health sectors.

What you can expect on the day:

  • Hear from charity and social enterprise leaders who have been successfully trading;
  • Learn about aims of the Enterprise Development Programme and how it has supported our existing Youth and Homelessness cohorts and – more importantly – how it could benefit your organisation; 
  • Dynamic mix of presentations, workshops, panel discussions and peer-learning discussions;
  • Extensive networking opportunities with fellow civil society organisations, enterprise development organisations and funders; 
  • A safe and non-judgmental space in which to ask difficult questions
  • Opportunity to learn about other opportunities offered by Access- the Foundation for Social Investment.

This FREE event is offered to all charities and social enterprises working in England. 

The Enterprise Development Programme returns: what’s different?

teens at a youth club playing table tennis

By Deborah Smart – Head of Grants at Social Investment Business

One year on from the pilot phase of the Enterprise Development Programme, Deborah Smart – Head of Grants at Social Investment Business – reflects on the growing #EnterpriseMovement, and shares what makes the next phase of the programme different.

Back in September 2018, the Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) launched with a year-long pilot to support charities and social enterprises working in the Youth and Homelessness sector. Following its success, Access have committed to expanding this programme, and will be extending the involvement of the Youth and Homelessness sectors until 2021, and also welcoming the Mental Health and Equality sectors onboard. Further sectors will be added each year and the programme will run until at least 2024.

So, what else has changed about the next phase of EDP? Here’s a summary of key things we learned, and how those learnings are going to inform the next phase of the programme:

  1.  Partnership

By working closely with our sector partners, we were able to ensure that sector needs were at the forefront of the support offered from EDP. We are working even more closely with our partners going forward. Partnership is crucial for us at SIB because it allows us to call upon the expert views of partners when a given fund or grant programme calls for it, ultimately with the aim of providing a better service for the organisations who need it

2. Flexibility

In moving forward with EDP, we wanted to make sure that the next phase of the programme was flexible enough to respond to the needs of the organisations we’re supporting. We have structured a programme in such a way that we can help the cohort find out what they don’t know, rather than test them on it. So, with that in mind, we’ve changed the programme so that what we’re initially assessing is whether organisations in the cohort have an enterprising mindset. What we mean by ‘enterprising mindset’ all boils down to forward planning: the EDP grant should free up time for organisations to think more strategically and be more entrepreneurial – to think beyond the EDP grant about the ways they can diversify their income streams.

You can read about how the Homeless Link EDP Year 1 cohort put their enterprising mindset to good use here. The most important thing in applying in this phase of the programme is the desire to be enterprising and develop trading.  Ideas can either be early stage or more developed.

Once the ‘enterprising mindset’ element of the assessment is complete by each sector partner, the programme is then structured for us to be able to provide different types of support depending on what stage your enterprising idea is at. If you’re looking for advice on applying for a fund and aren’t sure where to start, check out our tips.

3. Learning and responding

As the programme restarts, all of the EDP partners will continually be learning from and listening to the cohort and adapting to their needs. Here at SIB, one of our strategic priorities is putting our customer at the heart of everything we do – listening and responding to their needs is the best way of making that happen.  We will be gathering feedback from the organisations we work with throughout the programme to help us with this, and we will also look at how we can share this widely as well.

At Social Investment Business, our strategy is all about how we strengthen and build organisation’s resilience through providing the right finance and support to help them thrive. We are also committed to working in collaboration and partnership, and are therefore delighted to be expanding and extending our partnership with Access on EDP. We’re excited to be supporting and strengthening the enterprise activity of our first EDP cohort and beyond.

<< If you’re interested in finding out more about the funds, programmes and support Social Investment Business offer, visit here. >>