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Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust – COVID Early Years Preventative Work

As a response to the current pandemic, the trust has changed its application guidelines and processes. Changes will apply for the spring application period march 16th – April 28th, in the first instance, by providing up to £5,000 unrestricted funding to small and medium charities under their Early years’ preventative work grants programme. 

These changes are intended to assist small and medium sized charities with small sums of unrestricted funding during this difficult period. We will be able to make more grants than usual but we do not expect to be able to fund all applicants.

Please read the new guidelines carefully before deciding whether or not you are eligible to apply.

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 and preventative work. We support organisations whose work is with targeted groups of 0-3 year olds in England and Wales which will specifically improve the reach to these targeted groups and bring about improved defined outcomes for them.

Who can apply

  • Charities registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales whose last audited accounts show an income of less than £750,000 and
  • Charities that can demonstrate the likelihood of increased demand for their services and/or can demonstrate a loss of anticipated income attributable to the current pandemic

Duration and size of grants – Grants will be a one off payment of up to £5,000 and will be unrestricted.

Application date – Spring applications: applications can be submitted between  March 16th and April 28th 2020, with grants for successful applicants being as soon as possible after the closing date.

For more information click here.

Clothworkers’ Emergency Capital Programme

The Clothworkers’ Emergency Capital Programme (CECP) will award small capital grants of up to £5,000 for essential capital items to adapt or increase services in response to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Priority will be given to organisations supporting vulnerable and ‘at risk’ groups within our programme areas during this period.

Please note that this programme is not open to charities whose beneficiaries are based in London. We will be announcing separate initiatives for London charities over the coming days.

We recognise the immediate need for capital items and aim to make quick decisions on applications. However, if we receive a large volume of applications it may take up to two weeks for a decision to reach you.

We expect the criteria for this programme to evolve as our understanding of the needs of organisations supporting beneficiaries in our programme areas develops.

Key features of the fund:

  • Applications are only open to charities whose beneficiaries are not based in London
  • They will award capital grants of up to £5,000 (but we will not award grants equal to more than 50% of your annual income)
  • They aim to communicate a decision within one week (but it may take up to two weeks)
  • Capital projects that are planned as part of your organisation’s ordinary course of business are not eligible; for these you may wish to review the What We Fund page for our Open Grants Programmes

Key organisational eligibility:

  • Income of less than £2 million per annum
  • Work of the applicant organisation must fall within our nine programme areas
  • They do not support organisations that promote a particular religion or that only provide services to people of a particular religion

You must demonstrate your not-for-profit status in the application form and your accounts. We fund the following types of charitable and not-for-profit organisations:

  • Charities registered with the Charity Commission including Community Interest Organisations (CIO)
  • Community Interest Companies (limited by guarantee without share capital)
  • ‘Exempt Charities’ (in which case we require details of your principal regulator and/or evidence of HMRC exemption)
  • Special Schools

Please note that a ‘Constitution’ document alone is not a sufficient demonstration of eligibility.

Click here to apply or here for more information.

Source: Get Grants

Heritage Fund – Emergency Fund

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50million fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  

The UK-wide fund – money raised from The National Lottery – will address immediate pressures over the next three-six months for those organisations most in need. It will be open for applications within the next few days.

We will continue to support more than 2,500 projects that we have already committed to – an investment of more than £1billion.

Eilish McGuinness, The National Lottery Heritage Fund Executive Director, Business Delivery, said:  “We know that circumstances are incredibly challenging for our heritage community right now and we want to do everything we can to support them. We hope this new fund will be a lifeline and a beacon of hope for organisations affected.

“Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, creating economic prosperity and supporting personal wellbeing. All of these are going to be vitally important as we emerge from this current crisis.”

Heritage Emergency Fund

The £50m fund will be available for grants of between £3,000 and £50,000.

It is available to organisations across the full breadth of heritage, including historic sites, industrial and maritime heritage, museums, libraries and archives, parks and gardens, landscapes and nature.

Organisations which have received funding in the past or are either a current grantee, or still under contract following a previous grant, can apply.

Priority will be given where:
•there is limited or no access to other sources of support
•where heritage is most at risk
•where an organisation is at risk of severe financial crisis due to COVID-19

A raft of extra support

We know that the majority of heritage organisations are facing temporary closure, severe impact on their revenue and staff shortages. Many face threats to their long-term futures. A small percentage fear they will not be able to last into the summer.

This is why we are taking a short, medium and long-term approach to our support for your immediate challenges and longer-term resilience and recovery.

For more information click here.

Sport England Emergency Funding

Sport England are making up to £195 million of funding available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

The package, which is a combination of National Lottery and government funding, is made up of the following:

  • A £20 million Community Emergency Fund, which will be opened immediately for clubs and community organisations to bid into. Grants between £300 and £10,000 are available.
  • A £5 million pot for existing partners to bid into if they’re facing specific financial difficulty.
  • An additional £55 million to support our sector during an ongoing period of restrictions, to fund new and innovative ways to keep people active and, when the period of restrictions is over, to help organisations get back to business and adjust to a different environment.
  • A £115 million rollover of current funding into 2021/22 to give long term certainty to over 100 well established partners who play a vital role in the delivery of sport and physical activity in England.

Alongside this, given cashflow concerns in the sector, we’ve also agreed to consider requests to release six months of the coming year’s funding (50% of awards) to our partners, meaning additional funding will be available sooner.

The package follows our recent decision to offer major flexibilities to those who currently receive funding – including the ability to change timings, key performance indicators, targets and conditions, and redirect money to new activity in response to coronavirus.

For more information click here.

Tesco Bags of Help Funding Update

Tesco has decided that due to the current uncertainties around Covid-19, their Bags of Help (blue token voting scheme) has been suspended in stores until further notice.

The fund is still open to new applicants who wish to apply online for up to £2000 please visit

Anyone who has applied and is waiting to hear if they have been selected to go to store vote will unfortunately need to wait a bit longer.

Groundwork staff are available to support groups to apply for funding via email –

For more information, please visit Bags of Help Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions by clicking here.

National Lottery Statement – COVID-19 and the Community Fund

The National Lottery know that many charities and community organisations across the UK are facing increasing challenges as a result of COVID-19 and we want to support those we fund as far as is possible at this difficult time.

Following the latest government guidance we have asked their staff to work from home and they are all equipped to do so. The National Lottery’s plan is to continue to deliver their services to applicants, grant holders and communities across the UK as normally as they can.

They have already started to shift application deadlines for some of our funds that were due to close soon. They also want to be flexible where grant-holders get into difficulty or see problems on the way.

They are however in uncharted territory and things will occur that they hadn’t expected and they will get things wrong. Please bear with them if they do, let them know, and they will be as helpful as possible as the situation unfolds.

At the moment their priority is to keep money flowing to support people, communities and the organisations.

To read the full National Lottery Update from Dawn Austwick CEO of the Community Fund click here.

Source: National Lottery Community Fund

Postponed National Lottery Community Fund Surgery Sessions 2020!

Given the evolving situation around COVID-19, SCVO has decided to postpone the National Lottery Surgery Sessions until further notice. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

SCVO in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund are hosting a series of monthly surgery sessions for those wishing to discuss their submitted initial outline proposal in more detail with a member of the National Lottery Grants Team.

The 2020 surgery dates with the National Lottery Community Fund will be held on the second Monday of every month, from 10am until 1pm at SCVO’s Offices, 1st Floor, Landchard House, Victoria Street, West Bromwich, B70 8ER.

Future dates for the surgery sessions include:

  • Cancelled – Tuesday 7th April 2020,
  • Monday 11th May 2020,
  • Monday 8th June 2020,
  • Monday 13th July 2020,
  • Monday 10th August 2020,
  • Monday 14th September 2020,
  • Monday 12th October 2020,
  • Monday 9th November 2020 and
  • Monday 14th December 2020.

The Lottery’s Grants Officer will be available for booked appointments to further discuss your initial proposal and potential next steps. Prior to booking an appointment you must have completed and emailed the National Lottery Community Fund at with your initial outline proposal (shaped around their 6 bullet points which can be found by clicking here and looking under the ‘What we need to know’ Section on their website).

If you are interested in taking advantage of this unique opportunity and want to book your time slot with The National Lottery Community Fund please email Donna Adams at or call on 0121 345 7661 to avoid disappointment.

Alternatively, you can contact Libby Mahoney at SCVO to make a booking on 0121 525 1127 or email

Paul Hamlyn Foundation to Use Digital to Attract Younger Applicants

The UK grantmaker has highlighted the need to develop digital and online tools as it looks to reduce the average age of its grantees.

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) is to boost its use of digital as it looks to attract younger applicants for its grants.

The grant making foundation says in its latest Review of Grant Making report that it is “focusing particular attention on shifting the dial to increase diversity, particularly reducing the average age of grant recipients.”

It adds that the diversity of its applicants and grantees “especially in terms of age – is not where we want to be”.

Areas of improvement are using an online forum for peer networking, which currently has “limited engagement” says the report but “presents opportunity to adapt this approach” in the future.

To read the full Charity Digital News Article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

Heart of England Receives Anonymous Donation!

The Foundation were stunned by the further generosity of an anonymous donor after they received a gift of £1,584.094.

The donor has been so impressed with how their original donation of £4 million has been used they decided to gift them with an unrestricted donation!

The total amount, of over £7 million, makes it by far the largest donation in the charity’s 24-year history.

Tina Costello, Foundation CEO, explained that the new donation is unrestricted which means the foundation will have control over where this funding will be distributed, rather than being led by its donors.

She said:
“When I was told the amount of money we’d be receiving, I had to pull my car over – I was just overwhelmed.

“This incredible amount of money will allow us to develop our own grant-giving programmes for the first time.  The majority of our grant programmes are donor led which is great, because it means our donors have a strong say and personal involvement in who benefits from their money.

“However, this wonderfully generous anonymous donor has given us the freedom to develop and implement our own grant programmes, based on evidence of need across our region.

“The anonymous donor has been instrumental in changing the landscape and direction of the charity and has enabled us to grow and develop in the way we support our communities”.

“This money is allowing us to move in a new direction and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

The original £4 million anonymous donation has been used to set up the ‘Building Better Lives’ initiative.

The scheme will be used to support up to three projects across the West Midlands Region that have a successful track record and expertise in delivering capital projects and support for vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

Tina added:
“I have to say a massive thank you to the donor for continuing to support us – it shows an incredible amount of faith in what we do and I couldn’t be prouder.

“The Building Better Lives initiative was made possible thanks to their money, and we hope to distribute the money to projects in the next few months.

“But I still couldn’t believe how large their recent donation was. We can’t wait to use the money to transform people’s lives.”

Source: Heart Of England Community Foundation

Digital Support Network for Arts Organisations Launched

Arts Council England has announced the launch of a specialist network for arts organisations, with training, workshops and resources across a wide range of digital competency areas.

Arts Council England has announced the launch of the Digital Culture Network – a partnership of nine tech champions based across England designed to help arts and cultural organisations make the most of digital tech.

Through the network, digital specialists will be on hand to offer arts-based organisations training, support, events and one-to-one surgeries on web design, social media, e-commerce, data analytics and digital marketing.

Arts charities can also access resources and learning materials through a new online portal.

As part of the launch, seven events across the country will be delivered in partnership with Google, which have been designed following a pilot with 130 cultural organisations learning about content strategy and data analysis. The sessions will featsure tips on making the most of Google-owned resources like Google Analytics and YouTube, as well as the chance to recieve one-to-one support from the experts.

Huge Potential for Arts Organisations

The launch of the Digital Culture Network delivers on the commitment made by the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)’s 2018 Culture Is Digital report to help the cultural sector make the most of technology. The report recommended that the Arts Council partner with technology companies to deliver training, and facilitate partnerships and collaborations between the tech sector and cultural organisations.

The report outlines the huge potential for arts and cultural organisations to create imaginative experiences, drive their business models, operate more effectively and increase access to culture for all.

Francis Runacres, Executive Director, Enterprise and Innovation at Arts Council England said: “There is huge potential for technology to transform how arts organisations operate, helping them reach new audiences, develop innovative business models and transform how they share their work. Through the Digital Culture Network we’re making sure that cultural organisations throughout England are ready to take advantage of all the opportunities new technology has to offer.”

As registered charities, arts organisations can benefit from the many discounted and donated software programmes available on the tt-exchange platform, which has helped UK charities save over £250,000 and gain access to many of the most useful tech products.

Source: Charity Digial News

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